Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…

We get lots of phone calls at TLC. This week we had someone call who wanted Robin to trim the limbs off some trees at their house. It seems that she was told that we do this sort of work for people, for free. Well, if we were going to do it, we would do it for free. But since Jesus told the tax collector Zacchaeus to come down from the Sycamore tree, we try to keep our staff out of trees.

We get lots of calls at TLC. “I was wondering if it would be OK for me to post a political sign by your church sign?” No, I have enough emails to return already. “Would it be OK if I drop three children off to play in your gym? They are self-sufficient and I will not be gone long.” “My neighbor is dying and has no use for church or God, and has a particular dislike of preachers. So, I was wondering if you would like to visit her before she dies.” “Yes, I was wondering if you could help me find a wife.” “I have 30 years’ worth of old computers, printers and monitors that I thought you might like. I can drop them off this afternoon. Will someone be there to help me unload my stuff?”

We get lots of calls at TLC. Last week I got a call from a community woman who had legal problems with her neighbor that will likely end up in court. For half an hour she explained it all to me, offered to send me decades worth of documents to review, and asked if I would mediate. I told her that I was not qualified or interested. She was appalled and said, “Let me get this straight, you are refusing to help neighbors with their problems?” I said, “I have neither the time or the inclination to get involved in this.” She responded, “Then I guess that I will need to consult a higher power.” Hoping to end the conversation, I said, “That would be a good idea. Do that. Consult a higher power.” And she asked me for the contact information for my Bishop.

I have not yet heard from my Bishop, but if my office is empty next time you pass by, you will know why.

Life is hard for everybody right now. I would encourage all of us to consult with a higher power. Not our Bishop, but Jesus. Do not be afraid. Be patient and kind always. Love your neighbor; and they are all your neighbors. And if you find yourselves in a messy neighborhood squabble, I am happy to listen and pray for you, but that will be the end of my involvement.

One day closer,
Pastor Jim