Rebekah at the church door, greeting the Zane family
Quite often, being a clergy-hubby is a spectator event! Fact is, I love to see my preacher-wife “in action.” I think it’s similar to how Rebekah used to describe watching me play soccer. “Derek moves like poetry,” “she’d say. Well, she does too.
Sometimes I’ll stand near the church door when she’s greeting people as they leave after worship. There’s a fluidity and a genuine grace to her interactions that’s fascinating to watch. She engages each individual as if they’re the only person in the world for that moment. She pulls this off with 100% authenticity, and for those brief moments they truly are the only thing in her consciousness. Children… adults… visitors… long-time members… infants; no-one gets missed and no-one feels short-changed.
I remember one Sunday after communion, where the “Hug the preacher” line seemed especially long. One young mother ushered her four-year-old toward the side entrance (like Presbyterians do when they want to beat the Baptists to lunch!). Their conversation went something like this:
Mother: “Let’s go, we have to meet Daddy!”
Child: “But I have a question for pastor Rebekah.”
Mother: “Okay… (sigh)…”
Wait. Shuffle forward. Roll eyes. Shuffle forward again. Speak with the other people in line. Smile. Shuffle forward. Wait. Eventually they make it to the door.
Mother: “Rebekah, Ralphie has a question for you.”
The Preacher (hoping it’s not a doctrinal stumper, planted by Ralphie’s mother): “Ask away, Ralphie, I love four-year-old questions!”
Ralphie: “PastorRebekah-pastorRebekah!!! What kind of juice do we have at communion?”
The Preacher (relieved): “I think I know the answer to that one, Ralphie. I believe we serve Welch’s Grape Juice.”
Ralphie’s eyes opened as wide as could be, and he turned to his mother with a huge smile across his face and his arms spread wide, palms up: “You see,” he said loudly. “I told you we serve The Good Stuff at this church!”
And we do. Every Sunday at worship, and pretty-much every day between Sundays, there’s something inspirational and encouraging going on. It’s all good stuff, all the time around here!
But – most of all – the good stuff is served up by my awesome wife, “The Preacher”. And all I have to do sometimes is to stand in the background and just watch her interact with the people she loves so dearly, so honestly, and with such tender grace.