Deacon Barry made good on his threat and released the tape.
Trey was on his way to the hospital with a ton of things on his mind. He wanted to send somebody else, but the work of ministry had to continue and his father couldn’t do anything right now.
Trey walked into the hospital room of a dying deacon.
This deacon had a reputation of being a little nutty, but fiercely loyal to the pastor. Red Berry never could get this deacon to do a thing against the church or its pastor.
The deacon’s wife had passed on to glory a few years before and his son was attempting to be by his side for this great transition, but it appeared he wasn’t going to get there on time.
No, Trey was going to be the closest thing to a relative that the old deacon would see.
The deacon was about to have to lay down the plow as he was getting ready to take that step into eternity.
The old deacon smiled and his eyes lit up as Trey walked in.
“My father couldn’t come. We are going through some difficult issues… Trey said.
“No, I needed to talk to you pastor.” The deacon said.
“My father really wishes he could come.” Trey said.
“Pastor. I am so happy you came. I didn’t know if you would make it…before…”
The deacon stopped talking and allowed that word “before” to hang in the air.
Trey was immediately shaken out of his thinking about the great turmoil at the church. He was reminded that regardless of the issues at the church, right here and right now is a call to be the pastor that that God had called him to.
Here was a member who didn’t care who was the next pastor. Here was a member who didn’t know of all the shenanigans that Dex and Deacon Berry were up to. Here was a member that needed his full attention.
Trey wasn’t sure what to say to the deacon. He desperately hoped and prayed that just his presence would be able to say what his words couldn’t.
The deacon just eased into a conversation. “You know my wife loved your daddy. But she really loved you. She thought God had a special anointing on your head.”
Trey couldn’t help but to smile. Being a pastor’s kid means that some folks love you and some folks didn’t, but most had something to say about you.
“Well we loved you to deacon.” Trey said trying to quickly change the subject.
“No pastor, our love for you is why I am glad you are here as I get ready to meet her in a little while.”
Trey gently tried to turn the subject to less heavy topics. He started talking about the score of the game the night before and how it was good to see the home team pulling out a win…
It seemed so trivial to be talking about sports at a moment like this, but the levity was needed and God used even a football team’s exploits to soothe both the pastor and his trustworthy deacon.
Then the tone went sober as the deacon took a deep breath that was obviously filled with pain.
“Pastor, do you think you could read a scripture.” The deacon said.
Trey pulled out his Star book for ministers and began to read.
“No Pastor, how about the 23rd Psalm. I think I’m bout to meet the shepherd.”
The feel of the room turned dark and heavy.
Trey began to read.
“The Lord is my shepherd…”
“I shall not want…”
Trey continued to read and the darkness of the room seem to lift.
There appeared to be a tabernacle of glory engulfing both Trey and the old deacon. The issues of Trey’s father and the church were now totally out of his mind.
A smile emerged on the old deacon’s face as Trey read the final verse, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
The deacon closed his eyes.
“Are you all right Deacon?” The Trey asked.
“It’s all right pastor…”
Trey then prayed and slowly left the room…
Trey fought back a tear as he eased to the door.
As Trey opened the door to leave, the deacon said, “Pastor, I must tell you. You are in a war.”
“I know Deacon. There are some who are trying to take over the church. But God will…”
The deacon interrupted him. “The war is not with people. The war is not with deacons and ministers. You are a war with the enemy.
Trey stood there not knowing what to say as the deacon continued talking.
“…And I prayed that the devil won’t win.”
“What are you talking about deacon?” Trey asked.
“…The enemy wants to assail you. But don’t lose faith, God is with you pastor.”
Trey wondered what the deacon was talking about. He wondered if he knew something about the plans that Deacon Berry had. He looked puzzled.
“…And I know that the enemy want’s you because you have a work to do that needs to be done.”
Trey immediately remembered what his father said about turning around the church.
“Thank you deacon.” Trey said.
“Bye Pastor…Remember what I said.”
Trey left knowing this was the last day he would see the deacon alive. He also knew the work he needed to do.