For ministering to dry sponges, Pastor, thank you

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

Once upon a time on a rainy Easter Sunday, a family of five walked through its doors. They were country folks, that family of five, raised in small churches, and Plain ones. On hard, wooden benches the Word, it was spoken, and the voices rang clear, a capella.

It was a long and winding route, unforeseen, that took them at last to the “Wormy Church.” For that’s what they called it, the family of five, on that first trembling trip up the sidewalks. A rain had come through, and the worms had come out. Two boys in their small Sunday shoes just a-hopping, “Ew! Ick,” dodging worms as a strong daddy cradled the baby.

Inside the doors, a wonderland. A vast sanctuary spread side to side, red carpet, and the benches were plush with deep padding. Beautiful to the eye everywhere one looked, and the pair, two so weary, drank it in. And then, up front, a choir gathering…

For weeks, the suf’ring mother in the throes of depression and the father who felt abandoned, they sat. Bone dry, like worn-out sponges, they came.

For weeks, the pastor preached, and they soaked it right up. For weeks, the choir sang, life-drops raining. Week by week, little by little, bones moistened. And hearts healed.

That Easter Sunday? It was 18 years ago in 1999. The mother and father? Me and Mister. The three hoppers? The oldest three Schrocklets.

Tonight, we had the beautiful privilege of honoring the man who led the choir that sang to “dry bones,” the man we call Pastor Don. For 33 years, he’s served faithfully, and love, it can look like that choir. Can fall, liquid hope, on shriveled sponges.

God bless you, Pastor, for loving us well. For loving Him best by serving His people.

That’s us.

You have led us with passion and energy, and here on The Three, you will always be remembered with fondness as “the white man who jumps.” (That baby we carried in on an Easter Sunday? One day as he sat on my lap in a service, he said to me, “Mama, where is the white man that jumps?” And I knew he was talking about you. How we laughed.)

I’m inspired to serve God with my heart and with passion. You’ve plowed a straight path for the rest. Hearing that you never really intended to be a music pastor, but a teacher instead, I’m reminded that God’s ways are surprising. And good! Thank you for that.

God bless you and Donna. May His face shine upon you now and always. May you continue to find joy in each season of life and one day that honor that’s even better than a crystal microphone all engraved, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter in…”


Rhonda for all of the Schrocks


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