Hard-Hat Pastor


Craig had writer's block. He had been at the keyboard for two hours but with very little in the way of results. This was to be message three in a series on turning around the stranglehold of conformity to the world.

The tuna fish sandwich was only half-eaten. Deb was in the front office doing books and keeping away phone calls or other disturbances.

The side wall of the study looked like a battle station with bulletin boards containing architect's renderings on the renovation. Sheets of figures from the recent meeting of the Board were thumb-tacked. Also tallies on the first six months' return of pledges.

For a moment Craig's imagination drifted to the enhancements to program which had been emphasized for weeks now from the pulpit. It seemed overwhelming but worth the shot. Millions of dollars. Economy pretty shaky. He had not imagined that he and his assistant Eric would be so intensely involved. But they were the staffers. A Board of volunteers had only so much time to give.

Additionally Harry had dropped a bombshell by informing them that his own tax business was entering corporate year-end season. His could be only a "surgical" or "strategic" involvement. They had thought that he and three other people of business would carry the reins. It was looking much different now.

Deb popped her head in the door. "Your wife just called to remind you to drop by the dry cleaners. Also, to give yourself a good ninety minutes leeway. The Johnstons are expecting you at six-thirty... How goes the message from the Mount?"

"Not so hot, Deb. I have the foundation text. But the inspiration? Right now I'm looking over an outline of a similar sermon given four years ago. Could possibly doctor it over in a pinch. There's just been so much..."

Right then they both heard some commotion at the door to the outer office. Deb stepped outside. Craig took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes.

It was Stan Wallace. Deb knew that he had been talking with Craig about some tensions with Claire. "Is Craig in? I have to speak with him."

In this atmosphere of urgency she could only point her thumb at the open door. As he entered, she thought that she heard something like " She's packed a bag. Gone to her sister's. Taken David with her."

Deb was totally out of the loop for the next fifteen minutes. Only some mumblings. A voice raised a couple of times. A pause of silence which was probably prayer.

Then the door opened and Craig came out alone. Eyes red. Chin quivering. Something was different with her cousin. These were not tears of compassion. And Craig had shed many. These were tears of exhaustion and self-pity.

Acts 6:

2Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

3Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

4But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

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