Janeen Simmons is—or so she’d told him—into prayer. Strange way of saying it, he thought. Like some kids are into Legos. Or some couples are into snorkeling. His friend Tom Branderhorst, a perfectly ordinary guy in seminary, was now into Christian yoga.
View from the Pew
If the truth be known, Pastor Tim had majored in art as a college sophomore. He’d dropped it after a spring break mission trip to Honduras, enthused instead by the idea of preaching the gospel because, for the first time in his life, he’d seen real need. Art, he’d come to think, was at best a leisure-time activity—like sports, something people with money and time could indulge in. He was pretty sure it didn’t have a place on the front lines of the Kingdom.
They’d gathered in the pastor’s study early on that unforgettable morning because Tony Addamlee claimed she faced a horrendous three days at work and absolutely could not meet at night until at least next week, no matter how urgent. Morrie Tresshield said he was up to his ears grading papers and had trouble enough making the regularly scheduled meetings of the Liturgy Committee, much less some hastily called get-together to put out fires that didn’t exist in the first place—or shouldn’t have existed, he added.
It wasn’t writer’s block. It’s just that he’d much rather do anything than sit down and write Lenten sermons, not because he didn’t like writing sermons but because he didn’t like Lent—all that doom and gloom when what the people wanted was joy, the glorious joy of Easter. And so did he.
We’re janitors—my husband and I and our kids. There are times when I get tired of having to do it. But we need the money. And we do it together, our family.
I’ll admit that our being janitors makes me a bit hesitant to throw my lot in with those who’d love to stage Aida in our sanctuary, if you know what I mean. Extravaganzas—and Lattimore Park is good at extravaganzas—make janitors work overtime.
Date: 3/14/00 9:46PM
Subject: Ascension Day
Tracy Leonard was planning not to take communion that Sunday, but not a soul in Bethel Church knew it, not even her husband. This is the path her determination had taken. The Lord’s Supper is a means of grace—the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ broken and spilled all over the earth for the sin of humankind, hers included.
Anne Francis drove alone to church last Sunday night, the car silent in light traffic, Frank sitting back home in front of some scandalous segment of 60 Minutes.
“How long has it been,” he had said, “six weeks now, maybe?”
She knew what he was thinking because she was thinking it too.
“I know it’ll be a prayer service tonight,” he told her. “I can feel it in my bones, Annie. I’m just not up for sharing tonight, so I’m sitting this one out.”
With a month to go before the day to end all days; with little left to plan but some finishing touches on the gourmet lunch Crissy had finally decided on (after rejecting her mother’s advice to keep it simple); with what seemed an entire year of intensive research and development on weddings behind both of them; with Crissy’s crumpled Kleenex still sitting on the table, wet with tears shed voluminously about whether she’d picked the perfect colors—Anne Blanchard, mother of the bride-to-be, grabbed a bottle of wine from the cupboard abo
Professor Farnsworth is, well, fascinating. I think the reason she's not married is that she's already joined at the heart to Jonathan Edwards, William Bradford, Anne Hutchinson, and most of American Puritan history. She's a kick. She really is. When she starts in on one of the Puritan leaders, she gets in a zone, and it doesn't seem to matter whether there's anybody in the chairs in front of her. When that second hand sweeps past 11:00 a.m., something in her goes into gear and pushes through the class like a minesweeper.