Monday, August 16, 2010
A Break From It All
Craig was nursing the dregs of his third cup. Wondering what had just happened . He certainly hoped Jerry would show two days hence and that Ken would be available to offer some much needed help.
It was the third day of Craig's summer break, and this one was a real break. The kids were at camp. Kate was off on a long planned trip to Cape Breton with her sister. He had resolved to resist making any contact with the office.
One day's long country drive out of town. The second sunning in Victoria Park with a good mystery novel and watching the spontaneity of families at play and kids trying to get the slip on parents.
This day had been overcast and he had crossed town to an unfamiliar coffee shop. In came a thirty something business man with tie loosened at collar, sleeves rolled back and hair somewhat dishevelled. He seemed very distracted, and Craig had approached conversation delicately.
"Jerry" finally dismissed with the social niceties by saying, "I'm sorry Craig if I seem out of it, but I just don't know what the hell to do. Two hours ago I was working on an exciting new IT project at our company when three security men entered our department and instructed three of us to clear our desks and follow them out of the building. FIRED, just like that! Full legal package to follow in the mail. I didn't see it coming, although there had been similar incidents four months ago. Over the weekend a secret and top priority meeting of brass had decided to scrap our new venture. Suddenly redundant.
I have a wedding planned in a month. Marie my fiancee is a legal secretary downtown. It will be a second marriage for each of us. Things were really going along well. How can we proceed with THIS?"
Craig appreciated the candour, and decided not to tip the man off that he pastored a church. It was Craig's second career and he could well remember the pain and rage of a sudden dismissal. This would just be an exchange between men brought together by providence. He was already starting to formulate a plan of help which involved Ken from the church, also of IT vocation, and quite senior.
The conversation continued with cusses and joking and reminiscences, but largely he let Jerry do the talking. He needed to, and his countenance was lightening.
Craig was also making a discovery. This seemed to be the first honest men's conversation which he had had in a long time. No deference to "Pastor". No posturing. No covering up reality with propriety and the requisite good confession. No Pauline terminology thrust into the here-and-now. He was being revived by the process. He would try to offer help as a man, and not as the "man of God".
How was it that he had lost touch with this? Too many committee meetings with women in the majority? God bless them. Too many sermons to prepare? Too many times when he had shouldered the load alone because churchmen were unenthusiastic? Yes, he had needed this break and insight. Something was bubbling inside. A new expectancy. The man was changing gears.
And Jerry was becoming a friend...