One of the most influential people in my life was the pastor of our local Methodist church, Pastor Hutch. A gentile man with a whimsical sense of humor, Pastor Hutch would always leave the congregation feeling like they were not only loved, but welcome and unjudged.
Pastor Hutch was able to reach people at a level where they were. He wasn’t like some pastors who have that Colgate smile every time you see them. Pastor had that smile you would see on a loving father or grandfather that just said, ‘I know you and love you just where you are’.
When I first gave my life to the Lord, I was sixteen years old and still in that awkward stage of life. I was still trying to figure out who I was and how to deal with all the emotions brought on by raging hormones. Pastor Hutch was there at that time and was always willing to listen, encourage, and gently guide me in the right direction.
I remember asking him what to say when I really wanted to curse, but knew it wasn’t right. He would say, ‘you could do what I do. Every time I want to say something out of anger, I just say ‘oh flibertygibits!...’. It made sense. You can express your anger, but you don’t have to curse or damn everything. Needless to say, I found myself saying ‘oh flibertygibits!’ more than once.
The picture today reminded me of that old Methodist church with its stained glass and steeple. The front stairs were always welcoming, and Pastor Hutch was there to greet you coming in and bless you going out.
I’m grateful for him and the gentle, humble, sweet spirit he shared with all of us. He was truly a pastor. He went home to be with the Lord several years ago, but he will always be in my memories as one of the first spiritual leaders I had and one of the best. I only hope I can be more like him as I grow older.
Wishing you all a great week ahead friends!