Earlier this year, one of my first sensations on driving the new Camry home from the dealer was how pristine the windshield was. No nicks, no dents, no dried bugs. None of the stuff you get with cars that traveled a few thousand miles across city streets and country highways.
Now, four months and quite a few thousand miles later, that windshield is beginning to look like all the others I’ve stared through and lived with.
There is a way to keep a windshield unflicked (is that a word?). Park it in the garage and leave it there. Never take it outside.
There’s a tiny dent with white paint (the car is a bright red) on one door where some thoughtless person in another car opened a door against it.
It happens. I was expecting it, although I admit I was dreading it.
Real life is this way. If you get out in the world, you get nicked up and dented and even scarred. If you get involved with where people are and attempt to move them to where they ought to be, you will occasionally come home at night with bruises and the occasional black eye and bloody nose.
A friend who left the pastorate to become the director of missions (my former ministry) with the Baptist churches in a Gulf Coast county wrote recently to say no sooner had he unpacked his boxes than he had to mediate a situation between a pastor and a church. The pastor was being forced out and the DOM worked with the church leadership to arrange an appropriate severance package.
I observed that sooner or later, if he does this enough, both sides will turn on him. He was unfair, he was partial to the other side, he is unworthy to call himself a Christian, let alone a minister, he is no friend.
The minister should expect it; don’t be blind-sided; it happens.
The same day the DOM’s note arrived, a pastor in another state emailed asking for prayer. He and his deacon chairman were visiting a wayward deacon who has ended his marriage for another woman in the church, and nothing about this confrontation bodes well.
No one said it was going to be fun.