Tuesday, January 18, 2011

“Don’t Forget Your Friends”

by Jenny

To continue my theme from yesterday about focusing on the positive…the sun came out today! That made reading some very thick theology from Moltmann all the more pleasant.

On another note, I got an unexpected phone call today from an unknown number. I usually don’t answer these calls, but something told me I should. It was Howard, a 70-something-year-old man from the Lutheran church that shares its building with the Hispanic church I used to attend. He wanted to know what happened to me—he hadn’t seen me at church in awhile, and felt like I had “dropped off the face of the earth.”

When I left that church last September, I didn’t realize that people like Howard would notice that I was gone. I got to know him several years ago by attending the Bible study the pastor of St. Paul’s (the Lutheran church) holds for his leaders, and a few random people like me. I never spent any real “quality time” with Howard outside of Bible study, but saw him in passing as his church service ended and mine was about to begin on Sunday mornings. He always called out to me in a boisterous voice, “how’s my friend Jenny?” and often pulled out huge Hershey dark chocolate bars to give to me from his bag of goodies that he always had on hand for his “friends.”

I guess I can consider Howard like the grandpa I never had (both of mine died before I was born), and I feel very blessed that there are people that care about me even though I didn’t realize how much—before hanging up, Howard said that he prays for me every night and that if I ever need anything, he’s here for me.

This reminded me of what the pastor of St. Paul’s told me as I was considering changing churches—that it would be good for me to get experience in a different setting, but that I should never forget about my friends. As seminary students, we pass through several churches in a short amount of time—our home church, teaching congregations, internships sites—but this was a good reminder to not lose touch with the people who have been a part of our journey, and will continue to support us no matter where we go next.


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