It’s 4 a.m. Do You Know Where Your Shoe Boxes Are?

A year or so ago, our church invested in one of those fancy little calling devices so Luke could send recorded messages out to the church peeps.   It’s come in handy more than once to cancel services for bad weather or to alert people of special events or to give them an ever-loving heart attack when the ghost in the machine decides to call between the hours of 2 – 4 a.m.  to remind them to bring their shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse.

Only us.  This junk only happens to us.  Doesn’t it?

Luke and I got a call at 4 a.m. Friday and for any of you in ministry, you know that a 4 a.m. phone call is NEVER good news.  Luke ran through the house trying to find a phone.  We always make sure all four of them are nowhere near the base because it’s so fun running through the house in the dark trying to guess where the ringing is coming from without breaking our necks.  Truly fun.   He answered and finally hushed me from repeating “who is it?  what’s wrong?”  to say, “It’s me calling.”  Huh?  When he told me that it was the phone tree I freaked.  The reason I freaked is because we are the last people on the list so I knew that it had already called the entire church.  Luke ran to the offices and jerked the thing out of the wall – about 2 hours too late.   The reason for these random times is still a mystery because all the settings are programmed for 10 AM – 6 PM.  Go figure.

To say we’ve been catching a little flack is a colossal understatement.  Enough people have heard about The Call now that it has officially become a Town Incident.  At the football game last night WHICH WAS A SCHOOL HISTORY-MAKING WIN I might add, at least 20 people wanted to know what the deelio and when I tried to explain to by-standers they would say, “Oh yeah, someone told me about that.”  

(By the way, I can’t believe I just used the word deelio.  All this smash mouth football has me feeling all edgy.) 

We’ve even gotten mail about The Incident.  One of our most precious, darlin’ church members whom I love with all my heart sent this note:

“I know I wear my ‘kerby frown’ in the choir sometimes and maybe even sometimes when you are preaching, but please…I don’t mean to.  It’s just a part of me —  My husband used to ask, “S., are you mad?”   OH…I didn’t send you a card in October!  Maybe that’s it?  No?   Hmmm…  what could it be?  What would make my sweet, adorable, cute little pastor wake up a peacefully sleeping little ole white haired lady in the middle of the night with the ringing of her phone??  I KNOW… You Love Me!!  I love you too!” 

There’s more to her letter but I want to be sure to include the part she said about me being the “best of the best wife” because it makes me happy.   We adore you, S!!!

We are grateful everyone has been good-humored about the whole thing though we do know the alarm it caused.  If anyone is ticked, well, all I can say is now you know how it feels to be a pastor who gets middle-of-the-night phone calls more than he lets on.  

In the meantime, I’m thinking no one will forget their shoe boxes Sunday morning.  {You’re welcome, Franklin Graham.}  And if you don’t bring one, be warned.

You may just get another call from the pastor.