Today I sat at a Lent Prayer Breakfast, start time: 6AM.
They start that early so that people can leave afterwards and get to work, but none of them do that. They are all retired.
It was our church's turn to host so I put together the bulletin/program and gave the meditation. At first I was told by the contact person at our church that the sermon should be about 15-20 minutes. But once I reminded him that I don't preach that long on a Sunday, he relented. And really once we got started, no one was going to complain that it was too short. It ended up being 5 minutes to gather, 20 minutes to eat, 15 minutes of program and then off to conquer the day.
I don't know these folks or their stories. I do think there were a few pastors in the bunch. One introduced himself afterwards, your jovial, over-the-top type. He set off something in my gut of nothing I can prove, but I've learned to trust. He introduced himself, talked about his own sermon that he did once and then I turned to his spouse. I extended my hand to her, introduced myself and she seemed genuinely shocked.
She said, "Oh... I'm the quiet one... umm.... I'm ----." She tentatively shook my hand and began to walk away. Her husband said, "Yes, I took out a rib and here she is!"
I didn't even fake laugh.
God bless that woman and may her blessing at the great heavenly banquet be that for every time she has heard that joke she gets to sit 1000 places away from him.