The final installment of a three part blog.
As the bishop continued his call, the parson continued his travel down Memory Lane.
Strange, the parson seldom agreed with anything this bishop did. The parson didn’t particularly like his theology. Nor did he like the bishop’s administrative style. Often the parson felt the bishop was surrounding himself with empty suits who told the bishop what the bishop wanted to hear.
Strange, as much as the parson was the opposite of the bishop on so many things, as much as the parson disagreed with the bishop’s style, he somehow found himself delighted to be sitting at the table with him. In fact, when the bishop had greeted him the parson was genuinely filled with joy. The parson mulled it over in his mind.
Then, it came to him. When the parson had been taken to the hospital for open heart surgery this bishop was beside his bed when he woke. When the parson had surgery on his carotid artery, this bishop, while in another state, called him several times to check on him. When the parson’s wife died, this bishop was on the phone to him within an hour and had the check for funeral expenses delivered to the parson within three hours. A few weeks later this bishop stopped by the parson’s church to make sure the parson knew people cared.
Funny, this bishop, so misguided in his theology to the parson’s mind, so heavy handed in his episcopacy to the parson’s view, was the parson’s pastor. The parson remembered telling a younger pastor that being a good pastor was ninety percent presence.
The bishop concluded his call. He put the phone in his pocket. “Sorry, for the interruption,” he said. “One of my pastors is having a hard time of it.” He reached across the table, touched the parson's hand and said, "I wish I could have been there for you when Ms. Parson passed. Tell me about her."
The parson smiled as he said a silent prayer that someday one of his parishioners would be as happy to see him as he was to see this bishop.