Who we are when nobody is watching

Photo Credit:              Diane Knowlton

My friend and fellow pastor Tom Beckette is moving to another church in the next couple of weeks.  I know he has been to the new church a couple of times to meet people.  I know he has been slowly saying good bye to many in the church and community he is currently serving.  And I also know he spent some time at the UMC annual conference this past weekend with some people from the new church.  I got a nice note from a friend of mine from his new church telling me what an enjoyable time they had with Tom and how likable he was and is.

 

I know Tom as well as I know any pastor, and I will not bore you with the details other than to say we spent 6 years together in seminary and residency and have been to Africa together.  And what I can tell you about Tom Beckette is that he is the same guy in Africa, in seminary, and at the church.  He is the same guy at the fire station in Logan as he is at a bar in Dayton, Ohio.  (Hahaha – Four of us went to a bar/grill to eat at seminary.  I had a coupon.)

He is a servant of the Most High God and a follower of Jesus Christ.  Tom has the Spirit of God within him.  And the person the people in the New Haven UMC have seen in his couple of visits there and the person they spent some time with in Buckhannon this past weekend is the same person who will likely spend the rest of his pastoral days in New Haven, WV.  There will be no surprises after the “honeymoon” period.  He does not have to go into his new appointment on his best behavior until he knows them well enough to reveal who he truly is.  Who they met is who he truly is.  He is the same person when anyone is watching as he is when nobody is watching.

I’d like to think I am that way, too, even though Tom and I are very different in many ways.  Not the least of which is that he is a hugger.

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One Response to Who we are when nobody is watching

  1. Tom Beckette says:

    I never comment on your blogs, I just enjoyed them and sometimes use them as sermon illustrations. I’m humbled by your words but most importantly, I cherish your love as a friend, pastor and brother in Christ. I am a hugger and so are you. You hugs may not be as physical but they are always there. You have hugged me in your prayers, in you sermons, in your phone calls, in your thoughts and in your texts. Those hugs are more precious to me than any physical hug. Love you my brother…I still want a physical hug from you though!

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