40 years ago. St Albans, Vermont. A young Preacher and his wife sit upon the front step of their new church. Built from stained wood, white siding, black shingles and scandalous love.
It was spring time and the snow was finally giving up its last breath only in the morning dew. The sap was running, and so were the people. Luckily for them the preacher and his wife were fast runners.
“Enough sitting” he said. “We’ve sat too long already.”
Being a nurse had given her the inside knowledge she needed to know that this town was the perfect place for her and this church.
Her patient smile that she always had when I skinned my knee on the gravel outside was enough to tell me that if anyone could bring peace here, it was her.
And we needed peace.
Sunday after faithful Sunday parishioners flooded in to the new church. The good news of the Gospel and the man that preached it drew them there faithfully.
But nothing this good lasts forever and after 25 years it was time to pass the candle on to the next minister.
This man was from Baltimore but the congregation soon forgave him for that and saw the true heart of God explained through his teaching.
And still the old preacher and his wife remained faithful parishioners themselves. Instead of the front row though as would be fitting for such a couple, they moved to the back to make more room for the growing church.
Also to make room for her wheelchair.
ALS is a friend to no one and not even a saint such as her was immune from it I guess.
In time the old preacher sat alone in the back, his wife no longer physically by his side.
But still he came.
The fiery preacher from Baltimore moved on and was replaced by the son of another Pastor. A soft spoken man that was passionate about the message.
Still the church grew bigger and still the old preacher remained. Until last month.
Cancer doesn’t care that you started a church. It doesn’t care that you’ve changed thousands of lives. It doesn’t care that you didn’t finish reading that one book you really wanted to get to.
Cancer doesn’t care that you gave me my first Bible.
But I do.
Thank you Pastor Yost. In a very real way, I owe you my eternal life.