Years ago, I made one of my most memorable pastoral visits ever. Actually, maybe it wasn’t so memorable. I have no idea who I visited or what we talked about, but I definitely remember how the evening began.
I visited a couple with young children, or at least with one little child. It was a typical way that we all treat strangers or near-strangers. We want to put our best foot forward and also to use the opportunity to teach our children. That’s what this couple did. They used the occasion to teach their child manners and behavior. I am almost certain that they prepared this young boy (about age three) to meet the preacher and to say yes sir and no sir. Visits such as mine are great teaching times for kids.
Not only had they prepared the boy concerning manners, they also had added to his level of excitement by referring repeatedly to the fact the preacher was coming to visit. As I recall, they prepared cookies and made me feel quite welcome.
I didn’t know how excited the boy was until I rang the door bell. The front door was solid wood but with sidelights on each side that ran from the top of the door to the threshold. After I rang the door bell, I quickly heard the three year old yelling and running through the house.
I’ll never forget what happened next. He ran to the sidelight, cupped his hands so that he could see and announced to the house: “The creature is here, the creature is here!”
I’ve never had a better introduction.
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