After Jason and Mel left on Sat night, I moped around, watched the Spurs match and then at half time, I did what I sometimes do when a lot has happened. I went out for a walk. It was past 1am on Sunday morning. It wasn’t the wisest thing to do. But I had to do it. I put on a coat, took only my phone and the house key, and walked. And walked. And walked.
At the Uniting Church on the corner of Burwood Highway and Blackburn Road, I stopped and looked at the building, and the notices on the front. It was strange having driven past this church hundreds of times without stopping to have a closer look. It was especially strange – eerie even – to be sitting on the steps of this church at 2am on a Sunday morning. I don’t think I have been to church that early in my life.
After a few minutes I kept walking southwards, along Blackburn Road. I remember going past, first Highbury Road and then High Street. A couple of times I could see someone walking towards me. Someone who looked a lot more inebriated than me. I’ve had maybe a glass and a half of wine, so my mind was clear. At least the grog wasn’t the clouding factor. As the drunks approached on each occasion, I stuck my hand in the pocket of my jacket and slipped my middle finger through the key ring, with the key protruding outwards from a clenched fist. Just in case. Nothing happened, so I kept walking.
I can’t remember when I turned back to head home but when I got home it was 3am. Tress got up and we talked. We wept. I wept for 2 reasons. I couldn’t see God’s hands in all of this. And I was concerned Tress was hurting. I told Tress I was so tired. Not from the walking. I was so tired of wondering where to find a spiritual home again. I was so tired of feeling alone in this attempt to find a place to call home again. A home church. I had never been without a home church until now. I have been a Christian for more than 30 years. I have not only had a church to call my home church, I have played an active role in my home church, for the bulk of those 30 years. As I wandered and struggled, I couldn’t see where God is in this. That was more painful than anything. As I said all this to Tress, we both wept.
Tress said I zipped off to sleep pretty soon – probably close to 5am. We both didn’t wake up till it was past 9am. I then saw Jason’s emails. That meant I no longer need do anything on this matter. Later that night I received another email from Lettice the church secretary.
It was obvious that they had been planning for Jason’s exit well in advance. Even after the gracious emails from Jason – very big hearted and gracious ones – there was nothing forthcoming from that mob except a formal and therefore cold, notice of proceedings. All evincing the plot hatched behind Jason’s back. Plainly wrong and wreaks duplicity and dishonour.
Some said Tham Fuan acknowledged Jason and Mel publicly on the pulpit the week before. The very next day his henchmen executed the disgraceful plans. What duplicity leads a pastor to do that? What make up, what is in the mind of board members who let that happen? All for the church? Really? Could have fooled many.
There is something familiar about leaving the 99 to look for the 1. There may be something about leaving the 1 to look after the 99, but that might be in a different bible to that I have been accustomed to.