Have you ever kissed a...

From time to time I have to do some crazy things as pastor.  In 31+ years, I have...

... coordinated hospice care - and meals - for my former secretary back in Cleveland when other options didn't work.

... cleaned-out a reverse colostomy wound twice a day for 6 weeks when  other members family couldn't stomach the assignment.

... offered prayer by the hospital bedside as a beloved member bled to death from post-surgical complications.

... sorted through clothes thrown out in the rain after a man's wife killed herself, he was arrested - but then released - as a possible suspect; during the 24 hours he was incarcerated, however, the landlord tossed him out of the apartment.

... walked with people and held them by the hand in order to enter various addiction treatment centers.

... baptized babies in incubators before they died 2 hours later.

... made a pastoral call one rainy night only to find a loaded revolver on the sofa while I was cleaning off the clutter in search of a place to sit.

... served as Vice-President of the Cleveland Board of Education.

... gone dancing in after-hours gay clubs to learn about what happens after the lights go out in a world unknown to me as a straight, white guy.

... traveled to Russia and Eastern Europe - and Turkey - and the UK on a variety of peace missions.

And now, today, I finally had to kiss a sheep to settle a sacred bet.  We were hoping to raise $240 dollars for Heifer International but instead we raised over $500.  Apparently I agreed to kiss the sheep we would purchase if we hit the goal... so today instead of 2 it was 4.  And I was glad to do it.  We also gave out Bibles to our children, I got to play the upright bass for the first time in public and we shared prayers of encouragement and grace with one another.  Another first...


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