Sunday, November 7, 2010


One of my colleagues is a Preachers' Kid. Yes, the apostrophe is in the right place.

Not only his father, but also his mother was a preacher. She exceeded all manner of educational requirements (MDiv, DMin, PhD) for her pastoral ministry. Father preached and she ran the church (women can't be ordained in "that" denomination).

My colleague, we'll call him Pierre, explained that dinner time conversation in their house was not, he knew, normal. Who else is arguing about the conjugation of verbs in Hebrew or in Greek? Who else threw around theological discussions about the meaning of Revelations as easily as discussing the weather?

Pierre explained to me that he learned over the years to never say never. "I'll never go to University of Alabama, yuck... are you kidding?" Where did he end up attending? University of Alabama. "I'll never live in Atlanta, are you kidding?" Where did he end up living after he met his now-wife? Atlanta. "I'd never take a part time job doing fundraising!" Where did we just spend the last 11 weeks? Fundraising for United Way.

He shared with me, in a tender moment at our last celebration gathering, that his father, who was otherwise very verbose, gave him sage advice before he died. "Son," he said when Pierre announced his engagement to the now-Mrs., "Be patient." Yea, yea, Dad, I know. Be patient. "No,BE patient." Yea, yea, Dad, I know. "No, BBBBEEEE patient. As in the Greek, BE is BECOMING. BE patient." Yea, yea, Dad. Okay!

A year or so later, when Mrs. Pierre was pregnant with baby #1, she scolded Pierre for some random, benign act of carelessness. She yelled at him. What crossed his mind? BEcome PATIENT.

This is really Pierre's story but it has stuck with me.

And as I step into what's next for me, I'm taking Dad's advice, to BEcome patient. With me, with my life, with God, with others.

What are you BEing in this moment?

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

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