A few years ago, I took a job driving railroad crew members in a minivan. A late night or early morning trip had me somewhere on a Sunday morning with not enough time to get back home to go to our home church. So I decided to stay and visit a small church in the area. But there was this tiny problem in my mind. I grew up dressing up for church services and I was still in my jeans and a t-shirt. I shouldn’t have been embarrassed, but I was. What could I do?
Not many shops were open that morning — especially any that would have clothes to purchase. But there was a Rite Aid open at the time, so I went inside and bought a zip up jacket with the local high school’s emblem on it. I still didn’t feel very well dressed but it was all I could do at the moment. So, I headed over to the church and sat as far back as I could so as not to be noticed.
Then it happened. The pastor saw me in the back and pointed everyone’s attention toward me!
“Today we have Andy Rupert with us.”
[Oh how I cringed. I wanted to slip under the pew.]
“You may notice that Andy is in his work clothes.
[Can things get any worse???]
“That’s okay because it is good to see people who are willing to work in this day and age. Andy, would you open our service with prayer?”
What could have been an embarrassing situation was changed into a nice moment for everyone who was there that morning — including me. I appreciated that very much. And I never felt embarrassed to stop at that church when I was in the area no matter how I was dressed — all because a kind-hearted pastor diffused the situation before anyone could be embarrassed.
Now for the rest of the story.
Who was this kind-hearted pastor who diffused the situation? It was non-other-than Pastor Don Gallion who at the time was leading the morning service at Calvary Baptist Church of Willard … the church that I currently serve as the pastor. So remember this: You never know what a kind word or action can do in the life of someone visiting your church.