I was preparing for my second Sunday and enjoying the camaraderie of Vacation Bible School. In the midst of it there were hospital visits, get to know you conversations, and the sounds of children walking in front of my office on their way to nap time. In other words in a short time I felt at home and was living into pastoral life in the most mundane of ways.
I really was not paying attention at the weather. I’m used to sticking my head out the door in the mornings to get a general sense of the weather for the day. Occasionally I open up my weather app so that I can officially complain about how high the heat index will be that day. After that I let experience take over, hot and muggy in the morning, spicy hot sun the afternoon, and a thunderstorm with shower in the late afternoon and early evening, then even muggier, the just plain hot at night. Repeat the next day.
Just yesterday I was doing a bit of exploring around the campus and reminded myself about a shower trailer, cots, restrooms with showers in the gym, and the huge kitchen that is also housed there. I made a mental note of how helpful these blessings are when you are located in an area prone to tropical storms. And then . . . “Possible tropical system” which now turns into Tropical Storm Barry (and maybe even Hurricane Barry!)
As I look out the window in my office and finish a few things in case the electricity goes out I think about the church as the hub in times like these. Not just the sanctuary building or the campus where the community gathers. But the church, the body of Christ, scattered and yet gathered in Spirit as we prepare, support one another, and become available to become light and life no matter what the storm brings our way.
I don’t think any leader prefers a storm early in their tenure. I don’t either. But what I do know is that at times like these the people of God come together and I am reminded that whether in Alexandria, Ragley, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, or Houma, the people of God are the people of God, and wherever we are we’ll offer all Christ!