On a Lighter Note
Funny things can happen in a hospital.
My sister’s room was like Grand Central Station in the hours leading up to her surgery. Family members and friends showed up in a massive show of encouragement and support. An inordinate number of them were clergy. I think we counted 6 ordained clergy in the room at one time, with at least another 4 who made appearances at different times.
Now some background information. One of the pastors who came is the man who is now preaching at the church where my father served until retiring about a year ago. Until he retired in ’06, this man was the Big Shot Senior Pastor at the Biggest Presbyterian Church in our presbytery. He now enjoys supplying in smaller churches. It is common to hear folks in that city say that Biggest Presbyterian Church is far more Baptist in theology and practice than their own First Baptist Church. I remember a particular presbytery meeting that took place about 5 or 6 years ago at the BPC (as it shall be known from here on out). Several of my colleagues and I were to make a special presentation. Two of us are female pastors. Dr. Big Shot Senior Pastor doesn’t really approve of female pastors. The question came up prior to the meeting about where we were to make the presentation from – the pulpit or the floor mic. Dr. Big Shot quickly spoke up and said, “Oh, from the floor, of course. Only a select few are allowed to enter the Holy of Holies. Ha, ha.” Yeah, right. He tried to play it off as a joke, but we all knew how very serious he was about this. No woman pastor would be allowed to enter his self-described Holy of Holies. Whatever.
Dr. Big Shot was kind enough to come to the hospital on behalf of my father’s former congregation. He hasn’t changed lick since retiring. Dr. Big Shot then, Dr. Big Shot now. While he was there, a nurse came in to take care of a few pre-surgery tasks and asked the men to leave the room for a few minutes. (Those darn airy hospital gowns, you know.) My niece, Rosemary, and I remained in the room with her. While the nurse went about her duties, I decided to check email on my Blackberry. I had several, including a really cute joke from my music director. It wasn’t a dirty joke, but it was maybe a little colorful. I won’t retell it here. Let me just say that it involved a man’s underwear drawer and Miracle Grow. ‘Nuff said. I went to my sister’s bedside and quietly read the joke to her. Little did I know that the nurse had given the okay for the others to return to the room. As I finished reading the punchline I heard movement, looked up, and saw Dr. Big Shot himself standing right there. He flushed just a little and said, “Maybe I ought to go back out for a few minutes.”
So yes, folks. Preacher Mom, with all her social graces and finesse, told a ‘colorful’ joke in the presence of Dr. Big Shot, Keeper of the Holy of Holies. Aren’t you proud?