Thanks to wider newspaper coverage, Sunny Side Up has acquired some new readers recently. (Welcome, if that means you!) “Why do you always call your husband “the Preacher,” one asked me recently. Since some of my regular readers may also wonder, here’s why:
First, the Preacher has been a card-carrying member of the clergy for well over thirty years. Like your own pastor or priest he is a marry-er, bury-er, baptizer, counselor, calmer of certain senses, ruffler of others and preacher of sermons. Good ones. He’s done that for over thirty years now. Some I even remember.
Second, when I began writing these weekly newspaper columns a baker’s dozen years ago, the Preacher still pastored a church. Since I knew I’d be using him sometimes as writing fodder (he evens things up from the pulpit), we agreed not to use his name. Perhaps it didn’t matter, but we thought it may.
At the time Yorkton This Week, my local paper (and the first to carry Sunny Side Up—a graciousness for which I am deeply thankful) placed this column on top of the church ads—ads that not only listed the name of the church, but sometimes the name of its pastor.
In order to avoid a clear association with our own congregation (lest others perceive the column as advertising, or, God forbid, a come-hither to members of other congregations) I chose the generic moniker “Preacher” whenever I found it necessary to tell on him.
So no, Rick’s SSup name has nothing to do with his hope to avoid being known as a man of the cloth most human; someone who puts his (sometimes mismatched) socks on one at a time like the rest of us; someone who commits similar faux pas. He would be the first to tell you all that.
Since a bad mosquito bite infected him with West Nile Disease, the Preacher no longer leads a single congregation. Instead, he tells stories of grace wherever God points. Though I could safely call him by name here now, and do sometimes, “the Preacher” has grown on us all, even him.
Whew. Confession is good for the soul.
Here’s something else I’m confessing, right at the start of 2014. Though my husband’s nickname won’t change, I may. Inside. God is stirring things up in my spirit. A renewed desire to live, write and speak in more intentional, God-honouring ways that are consistent from the inside out.
Guided by Psalm 51:6, “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place,” I have chosen two words as my 2014 beacons:
If you’ve sensed a similar tug in your spirit—and even if you haven’t—I challenge you to make “cultivating a deeper faith” your 2014 priority.
Happy New Year—and God’s truth and wisdom to you in 2014.