Eulogy Heard By Nobody

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(I hope this story will help persons to see the value in talking to older ones. In addition it will tell a story yet leave you waiting for more to read which will be posted tomorrow.) 

It was Jimmy Martin’s first church; fresh from seminary. Youth pastor; that’s where they all cut their teeth; young pastors connect with young people hoping to keep them from drugs, booze, sex, rap, and unwholesome entertainment. Jimmy was not that far removed from the scene; still liked rap, violent video games, and occasionally got a buzz on margaritas just before bedtime.

His duties in addition to looking after wayward youth was to check the mail. Normally a task relegated to church secretaries. Miss Cavander was well past the age of checking anything but her pulse. She was kindly, sweet, inapt, but nobody was about to fire her.

“Why do you keep working, Miss Cavander,” Jimmy asked one day placing the mail on her desk.

She pulled him close and whispered. “It’s a pay check and they don’t dare fire me. My mind is sharp. I know all the dirt. Every cheating wife, husband, pregnant girl who needs an abortion, every boy who has a pregnant girl friend who needs an abortion, every pastor, parishioner, pervert, and peeper in this church passes by my desk. I got the dirt on everybody.”

Jimmy smiled and pulled away. “You certainly are pragmatic, Miss Cavader. I’m curious about something, each month there is an envelope from Nathan Miller at the Pleasant Springs Nursing Home, who is he?”

“Curiosity, Martin, will get you in trouble around here,” Miss Cavander said. “But no matter what I say you will insist on finding out. He was the pastor who built this massive revenue making conglomeration into what it is today. Councilmen, Congressmen, and Governors pass through these doors to receive the churches blessing before going further. That’s not what Nathan Miller wanted. Go see him.”

Jimmy waited a few days He reasoned he was the “youth” pastor and the first words he remembered the current head pastor, Rudy Storm, say was, “A good pastor knows his place and keeps it until the Lord opens another place for him.”

Eventually the day came when Jimmy visited Nathan Miller. Pastor Miller sat quietly in a rocking chair with his hands folded. Jimmy introduced himself. The visit was pleasant. Jimmy was shocked that this was the first visit he had received in five years except for Miss Cavander’s weeklies. “She keeps me up to date,” Pastor Miller said. “You can trust that old gal.”

Jimmy remembered the advice of Rudy Storm and did not pry, but Pastor Miller told him plenty about the churches beginnings. The dots were not hard to connect how it became a mega-church. In all it was the entire afternoon.

Before leaving Jimmy cautiously said, “Pastor Miller, you are quite old and I would be remiss if I did not say that it is very likely your days are near to their end.”

“Indeed,” Pastor Miller said. “I’ve lived well past the first people who walked through the doors of that small church with nothing more than a potbellied stove to keep us from freezing in the winter. What do you have in mind.”

“Your eulogy, Pastor Miller,” Jimmy said. “What would you like to have said?”

With not so much as a blink of the eye Pastor Miller said, “Very simply, ‘it was all for nothing.’”

“Such a eulogy would be devastating for many,” Jimmy said.

“You got to be kidding me,” Pastor Miller said. “Nobody will be there.”

Jimmy placed his hands on Pastor Millers folded hands. “I’ll be there. I will give your eulogy.”

“Jimmy,” Pastor Miller said. “You are a bright and compassionate young man. My words will roll around in your head for awhile. They will begin to make sense and you’ll leave. You won’t be around.”

“Do you still believe in God?” Jimmy asked.

“More strongly now than when I first stepped into the pulpit,” Pastor Miller said. “It’s the church I have problems with. Go quietly young man, forget all that you learned from seminary, and read the Bible with a fresh approach free from doctrine and dogma.”

“That would make a beautiful sermon,” Jimmy said.

“People are tired of sermons,” Pastor Miller said. “They want entertainment, showmanship, and shock. Come to think of it, that would shock them.”

Jimmy stood. “Thanks, Pastor Miller.”

“For what?” Pastor Miller said.

“You’ve saved me a lot of work,” Jimmy said. “You wrote your own eulogy for me.”

(Continued tomorrow.)

(365 Writing Prompts’ Post)

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