There is a young woman who has sporadically attended our church in Tampa, and she lacks common sense, bless her heart. (You know what they say "bless your heart" means in the south! ha ha!) I love this young lady, and at the same time, she has done her share of building the fruit of the spirit of patience in my life.
"Jill" as we'll call her ran up to me one Wednesday night as I was sprinting through the Christian Education building and down the breezeway into the sanctuary. I was rushing because I needed to get to worship rehearsal and was running a few moments behind. I was just waving and saying hi to her as I was running by and she begged me to stop and said, "Pastor Deanna, this is important! I need to talk to you!" And I said, "okay...what's going on?" and with that she came up close, stuck her head right up to mine so our heads were literally touching and said, "Um, I'm pretty sure I have lice right now. What should I do?"
YES, I'M SERIOUS!!!!!
And she was too. She was honestly asking my advice about what to do about lice and she touched her head with mine. Oh my stars!!! And by the way, she DID have lice, not just this time, but three more times after that.
After jumping back and taking my head off of hers (no I never got lice, THANK GOD) I said, "you should go around the corner to CVS right now, buy a kit to get rid of lice and GO HOME to follow all the directions on that kit!!!"
"Really? I shouldn't stay for service?"
"No Jill, you should not stay for service. You might give someone else lice or get them on the chairs or whatever..."
"Oh...wow. Okay, I didn't know that. Thanks for telling me."
So I had to explain this to her not just ONCE but several times.
Brings new meaning to the term "spiritual mother." Honestly one reason Jill needed (and sometimes still needs) my help on things like this is -- she hasn't had a real strong Mom to guide her or teach her these things. While the above story is funny now, there's a part of it that isn't funny, and that is -- some people lack common sense because they missed some guidance growing up and need it from others as adults.
As a pastor/pastor's wife we do more than dispense spiritual care or wisdom to people. In addition to helping someone understand why they shouldn't put their head on somebody else's when they think they have lice, pastors and their spouses help people with a plethora of other issues. Last night I helped a woman in our church prepare for breastfeeding her child. She had a few questions for me about nursing, knowing I've raised three kids. You never know what you're going to face in the pastorate.
That night after Jill talked to me I did go to worship rehearsal but I'll admit just thinking about this ordeal in the breezeway left me literally scratching my head all evening.