Note From The Pastor:
June 18, 2017
From the Pastor’s Desk:
So a Methodist Pastor walks into a bar… no that’s not a joke, that’s Tuesday night. Our pub theology ministry “Doubt on Tap” finds me at the Woodstone Grill every week. Most weeks I show up a little early to do some writing and worship planning. Usually these times are uneventful. I exchange some pleasantries with the staff and think about the topic of conversation for the night.
Every once in a while though things get interesting. Take this week for example. The back room that we use was hosting a Kiwanis meeting when I arrived, so I walked over to the bar to set up and work until the room was ready for our group. I ordered some ice water, opened my bible and my notebook, and set to work.
It was a bit noisy. But before long I realized the man at the end of the bar, who I thought was talking into a phone, was trying to talk to me. Vince was an older gentleman with a pronounced British accent. He was trying to tell me about a great Indian restaurant he knew (I have no idea how he got there, but for me that is where the conversation started). I was in study mode, so I spent a moment or two politely nodding and acknowledging what he was saying and went back to work.
But the extrovert in me would not stop prodding me. I had to ask him a question. Bri and I spent two weeks in England last summer, and I just had to know where he was from. So I asked. “Oh,” Vince said, “You won't have heard of it. I was born in Stratford-upon-Avon.” I shocked him when I said, “I do know it; in fact, my wife and I danced on Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon for our tenth anniversary.”
Vince’s jaw hit the floor. We spent the next half hour talking about the places we loved in England. His story of his life in England read like our trip itinerary. It was wild. He was so overjoyed to be able to talk about these places and have someone know what he was talking about.
We also spoke of our families, our wives, and our beliefs. It never ceases to amaze me the places God will take us if we make the smallest effort. My nagging interest in what part of England he was from resulted in connecting with someone from a different place and generation, and making him feel less alone in the world. As Vince was getting up to leave, I told him that I was there every Tuesday evening and that I looked forward to seeing him again.
Sometimes a simple question, a simple spark of interest, can lead to beautiful things. Conversations that matter and make an eternal difference.
Grace and peace,
Cherry Hill United Methodist Church