The call came the day before from the son of one of a senior member of the parson’s church.
“Parson, I’ve had you on my mind recently. Listen, I know your church does so much for so many folks, and I know you’ve got a passion for the less fortunate. So, well, this ministry I’m involved with has just come into possession of 8000 pounds of pancake mix. So, look I’m really appreciative of all you do. If you could use any of this pancake mix for whatever you want, it’s yours. It’s in fifty pound bags.”
“How much pancake mix are you talking about?” asked the parson.
“As much as you want.”
The parson quickly did an inventory of what he could do with the mix. “How about six to eight hundred pounds.”
“It’s yours. I’ll have it pulled out right now. When can you pick it up?”
“How much time do I have?”
“Well, to be honest, the quicker we get this delivery out of here the quicker our supplier will give us more. So as quick as possible.”
“Where is the mix?”
He gave parson the location of the ministry in a town about twenty-five miles away.
“How late are you open?”
“We’ll be here until 7:00 or 8:00.”
“How about I get there about six?”
The parson spend the day going from meeting to meeting and taking care of the usual things at the church. He then headed out to pick up the pancake mix with his faithful canine companion, Charlie Brown, curled up in the back seat.
At the destination, the parson was immediately given a hug by his benefactor. Within a few minutes the parson was being prayed over, with his benefactor’s hands on his shoulders. The prayer was in the familiar cadence of a pentecostal and asked God to bring all the parson’s dreams for helping others to fruition.
A tour of the facilities immediately followed the “in Jesus’ name, Amen.” The parson was introduced to the half dozen people filling zip lock bags with pancake mix. He was shown the room where food boxes filled with canned goods, flour, cereal boxes, and staples lined the shelves along the walls awaiting distribution to the needy. The clothes closet was next and that was followed by the medical examination room. The tour, with the explanation of what happened in each room each day of the week, took the better part of a half hour.
At the end of the tour, the parson asked, “I thought you said you had worship here?”
“We do; every Sunday morning.”
“Where do you worship?”
”Oh, sorry, I should have told you. We have to have worship in the dining room while people are eating. That’s the only time available. But folks seem to enjoy sharing the fellowship and eating with the ones that are really hungry. It makes for a good worship time.”
The parson and his benefactor then carried the fifty pound bags on their shoulders out to the parson’s car, making the trip eight times. After the car was loaded, the parson thanked him again and headed back.
That night Ms. Parson, who’d been teaching a night class, arrived home with the greeting, “Well, what did you do today?”
“I went to a real church.”