The paragraph in the church bulletin promised nothing beyond pancakes and wild hog sausage. No mention of special activities except that it would be a morning for the men of the congregation.
There was much more. I went to see who would show up at a men’s breakfast. Obviously, men – although we did have one woman come with her uncle. And being the open fellowship we are, she was made welcome and stayed for not only pancakes and wild hog sausage, but bacon and orange juice and milk and coffee that smacked slightly of that indistinct odor of blue jeans worn out in the wilderness.
A program was in the offing. An introduction and singing and an introduction of the speaker and the speaker and a prayer. The leader of the music portion was right when he said that men worshiping in song was glorious. Okay, maybe he didn’t say glorious. But there is something strangely moving when deep voices sing and sing loudly.
Looking around the room, there weren’t a lot of young men except for the teens that showed up with their fathers. Mainly forties and above and I wondered where the younger guys were. Probably at home with young moms and small children who look forward to that one morning of the week when dad is home and not in a hurry to be somewhere else.
But the rest of us were there. Thirty or forty strong, with our fill of pancakes and breakfast meats and still wondering why, exactly, the coffee tasted like it did.
During one part of the program, we were given a list of questions and were encouraged to use a few of them with someone we wanted to get to know.
One of the questions was “What would you like to be doing the moment Jesus comes again?” Before the group leader could move beyond that one, a voice from the side of the room spoke up, “I know where Terry wants to be.”
And as Terry, the group leader, paused, his friend turned to the rest of us and continued, “He wants to be baptizing his son!”
Incredible answer. In the instant when all heaven breaks loose, Terry was focused on making a relationship whole — restoring his own flesh and blood to God. The activity in the room slowed as the full meaning spread over us. And then, expressions of agreement and approval.
This was man stuff. The sharing of a simple but everlastingly important hope. You could sense every one in the room moving deeper as we saw and prayed for those special elements that distinguish just men from God’s men.