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"Softly and Tenderly"



The Deacon and the Boy

His name is Scott. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans, and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a well dressed, very conservative church. They want to develop a ministry to the students, but are not sure how to go about it.

One day Scott decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and so Scott starts down the aisle looking for a seat. The church is completely packed
and he can't find a seat. By now, people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Scott gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit, and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet.

By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.

About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Scott.  A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, and very courtly.  He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves that you can't blame him for what he's going to do. How can you expect a man of this age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?

It takes a long time for the man to reach the
boy. The church is utterly silent except for
the clicking of the man's cane. All eyes are
focused on him. You can't even hear anyone
breathing. The minister can't even preach the
sermon until the deacon does what he has to do.
And now they see this elderly man drop his cane
on the floor. With great difficulty, he lowers
himself and sits down next to Scott and worships
with him so he won't be alone.

Everyone chokes up with emotion.

When the minister gains control, he says,
"What I'm about to preach, you will never remember.
What you have just seen, you will never forget."

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Revised: 03/27/11