After a frenetic late-morning of running harried from one meeting and task to another, I looked forward to a quiet hour on Luncheon, in the cool quiet solitude of my office… and then the peace was dashed by a sudden cacophony of murmurs, giggles, and stomping feet hastening down the stairs outside my door.
What happened next was a blur… for a goodly contingent of my Legacy friends & brethren burst into my office and seized me out of my chair, overturning my dry turkey-on-wheat sandwich and bottle of water in the process.
Amidst the roar of voices and laughter, I discerned that they wished to give me a proper send-off at a local establishment… to toast my health and send me with a blessing of good cheer, and there is no better venue for such an endeavor than the Ram’s Head Tavern.
I overhead one dear sister gleefully shout “everyone is here!” and I too had to marvel that so many had taken time out of an afternoon for one as trifling as myself.
However, when attempting to voice as much, I was good-naturedly shouted down by “my men” within the group.
“Stop deflecting praise,” a brother of mine bellowed from the end of the long table, “we’re here to honor you!”
What followed was a rather uncomfortable (for me) turn around the room, whereupon each would relate some anecdote or testimony in which each of them, it appeared, tried to one-up each other in telling of my influence and contribution to their benefit.
Now I am not opposed to someone sharing the depth of their feelings for me, whether it be for good or for ill, but I confess I found the grand spectacle of this to be rather overeffusive. These, my brothers and sisters, gave every appearance of sincerity but I could not help but cringe at how much they seemed to go on about it… “it” being me, and their appraisal of my person.
Perhaps I am making too much of these gestures… perhaps I should be honored to have touched so many so deeply in so relatively short a time, and just let it be as it may.
Ah… but I know I cannot. Such trifles as these are often the seeds of one’s downfall, and I know well the deceitful inclinations of my own heart.
“…I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offenses at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in…”
When given my chance to respond to these festivities, I chose to do so with a rebuke of severe gentleness… with my words, carefully chosen and slowly spoken, I reached down deep inside of that dark quiet place within my Soul. I felt the warm cavernous glow of vulnerability envelop my senses. I spoke to these dear ones from my heart.
Stinging salty droplets bulged upon the corners of my lashes, but I held these back with the utmost of my reserve… I needed to remain in control of my reason, and emotion feeds too greedily upon the rational mind.
In closing… I thanked them profusely for the great treasure of their time in which they had entrusted me, for the precious gift of their fellowship, and for the honor of their entrusting me to dare teach them of the LORD.
Expecting to have “killed the mood” or “ruined the party” with the tone and tenor of my response, these dear ones responded by applauding with open hands and fists beating upon the tabletop.
O, how I shall miss these sweet Brethren…