I never wanted to be a pastor’s wife. In fact I’m very sure I told my young fiancé years ago that it was something I could never do. He shrugged it off with a laugh and assured me that I wouldn’t have to worry about that. We would probably spend our days in foreign places, teaching people who were poor and desperately seeking hope, a prospect that held no terrors for me.
In short, my list of qualifications was woefully inadequate. True, I could teach any-aged group and sing alto—as long as someone showed me how the notes went, if they weren’t half steps and abrupt, oddly-placed naturals after a cataract of rapid sharps. But my cooking was either burned or doughy, my piano playing repertoire consisted of one song, Amazing Grace—and that one was pretty terribly "amazing". I didn’t really want to preach to a whole congregation, and I didn’t and still don’t like organizing large groups of anybody. Surely God would understand that!
Yesterday, our congregation threw a surprise celebration for our tenth anniversary of being their pastors. Looking out at my closest friends, I thanked God, once again, that they are unspoiled, generous, and simply marvelous folks: they play piano, and organ, and sing alto and tenor. They organize breakfasts, coordinate showers, make quilts, do book work and benevolence work, and make gorgeous coconut cream pies. They let me do what I love to do—teach—and they put up with me in choir.
Years ago, Turtle and I realized that we weren’t called to do everything.
We were just called to be messengers, and the message is more important than our meeting ideal standards. We teach the message…and we love the congregation; everything else just falls into place.