Assumptions about Fathers
On Sunday, the lead pastor announced that the associate pastor would be speaking that morning and that his father was present to hear him preach. He asked if the congregation would show him extra love when he came up to deliver the sermon.
During the last song, before the offering was taken, this pastor sat down in the row in front of us, two seats away from a gentleman who was sitting by himself. The pastor always sits up front, so I assumed that this man was the father who had been mentioned. I thought it was nice for the pastor to sit next to his father, but I immediately started to craft a story in my mind about their relationship.
The gentleman was sitting in the back and not with the rest of the pastor’s family. They must be slightly estranged. But he was here now. That was something.
But why wasn’t he sitting with the pastor’s wife and kids? Maybe they don’t get along so well. It must be because the father wasn’t really involved and didn’t know the family very well. They felt awkward with each other, so the father stayed in the back.
After all of my assuming was finished, and a strong sermon delivered, it was the end of the service. Something compelled me to say to the gentleman in front of me, “Your son did a great job.”
The father’s face lit up. “He did, didn’t he! I am only able to visit every three months because I live in the Midwest. Sometimes when I am here, he is not preaching. I was so grateful that today was his turn.”
I was only able to respond, enjoy your visit.
Maybe because of my own “father” experiences, I put my own understanding of their relationship into my thoughts. I should know better than to assume anything about a situation I knew nothing about. Lesson remembered.