Μεγαλύνει ἡ ψυχή μου τὸν Κύριον [Luke 1. 46b]

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Quasimodo-Jay: A "Pretty Good Pastor?"

   It was a day I’ll always remember…(now I’m thinking of the cool song by the Temptations: “Papa was a Rolling Stone” J ) because I finally broke a bone.  I had lived an entire active life to “30-something” adulthood without breaking the required arm during raucous summer vacations or 8th grade football. 
   I broke my foot on Quasimodogeniti which was so appropriate—ever watch ol’ Quasimodo traipse around like a drunk ballerina whose feet have “fallen asleep” (especially in the Chaney 1923 version).

   I was living up in the Dakotas and was pastor for a twin-point parish in pheasant country. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and the weather was nice.  My wife had our big meal scheduled for around 6pm, so I took my young kindergarten son down to the school playground about 6 long blocks south of the parsonage.

   We were just messing around—NO wrestling, kicking rocks, or jumping off playground equipment!  We were actually playing a “spur-of-the-moment” made up game of “MONSTER TAG” wherein I was the hog monster chasing young Watson.

   I was wearing a pair of Timberland deck shoes/moccasins which were as good as Sperry Topsiders and cheaper.  I loved me my Timberlands, and had worn these comfortable slip-ons all through my four years of Ft. Wayne Seminary days and Waterford vicarage. 

   I growled like a ferocious hog monster (suitable for the bogs and caves of Narnia or Middle Earth) and took off after my scampering 5-year old—ONLY to immediately hit a small, very small piece of wood-chip…the tiny, micro-small wood chips that people put in their flower beds to retard weeds. My right foot ever so quickly and slightly turned inward and I hurt a “pop.” I also felt a hot quick surge of manageable pain—like pulling a muscle.

   I knew I had hurt my right foot but was hoping it was some kind of sprain.  I just wanted to get home and ice it down.  I asked my son if he could walk back to the parsonage to “get Mom to bring the car” and he balked.  I think he was partly “scared” to go alone and partly worried that I was hurt worse than I let on.  Thank the Lord my son had brought his tiny bicycle with its “training wheels.”  I used the bike as a crutch by putting my right knee on the bike seat and sort of skate-boarded it home. 

   I just wanted to sit down, get ready for supper (Roast Beef, yum) and ice my right foot exterior with a package of frozen Green Giant Peas.  My wife wanted to know why I couldn’t put any weight whatsoever on my right foot J

   So off the family went to the local hospital where, lucky for all of us, the wonderful Dr. Mary Morris was on duty.  She had my foot x-rayed and correctly diagnosed the “Jones fracture.”  I had broken the fifth metatarsal half way between heal and toe-tip.  I would have to be fitted with a walking cast for at least 10 weeks.

   I have all sorts of interesting and fun anecdotes which happened to me in the ensuing 10 weeks, but by now, you’re wondering what this has to do with MEGALUNEI?  Well, I guess not much other than it is a pastor’s remembrance—but…it actually gave me a bit of anonymous fame throughout the synod (sic) which can only come from either CPH or the Lutheran Witness (cue- Seraphs chanting).

   One of the 5 year olds at the smaller of the two congregations had heard his grandmother bemoaning my crippled state with concern.  When she said about poor Pastor Watson….”what a bummer” the little supporter of my seelsorgership spoke up in my defense: “He’s NOT a bum, he’s a pretty good pastor!”  

   The dear grandma knew she had a shot at literary fame and sent this “versicle & response” to Lutheran Witless (as I then called it, pre-Dorr J) and they published it (I’m thinking in the late summer early fall of 1996 for all of you fact-checking archivists).  I’ve got the clipping somewhere in the vestry undercroft, but am too lazy to go and scan it for you; maybe later.

    There were no names, but it was me…proof from the very “mouths of babes” that Pastor Watson was not a bum!



  1. I really like the "Harrumph." One chronic problem with the temporal nation/Empire is that we've become accustomed to Presidents in the Oval Office, in casual shirtsleeves, like they're posing for a J.C. Penney ad or a J. Crew photo-shoot. Presidential sneers we get; "harrumphs," though, are edgier and quite out of the question. Such eructations are not casual enough. I'm not judging here, of course, just diagnosing. It's like Lutheran coffeehouses. Talk about casual-cool. Who needs to fear God anymore, in such an environment of "worship;" He's clearly into polos, much more than towels (or cinctures, maybe?) around the waist. Yet once a while ago, a misguided, careless/carefree, improper or unauthorized touching of the Ark led to one's converted existence into the stuff of charcoal.

    Still, okay, I confess I DO prefer living in the Age of Grace, and given the inevitable human-flesh response to grace (eat, drink and be anarchic) the Age can only stir up the prayers for a continuing mercy, for all. The swallowing of Korah and company was dramatic, as were all those snake-bites in the Wilderness ... but Moses' pleadings for a bungling people were also written down for our EXAMPLE, I do believe.

    The kid's doughty example is a good one, too, Fr. Watson, and it is now electro-magnetically posted for our example. Using it as grand exemplar, I'll volunteer (if you wish), to scream at your hapless DP: "He's NOT a bum ... he's a pretty good beggar! Yeah, got it? That's what I said!!"

    Say, does one get paid for submitting heart-warming anecdotes to LW?

    Your (unworthy) servant,
    Herr Doktor

  2. I wish that were so ($$$) but I'm not sure if the grandmother would have split "her take" with the broken-footed preacherman?
    I'm sure most DPs are far too wooden and unimaginative to understand the poetry of "begging" and bummery...I'm sure I would be called far worse. So when are you going to start your blog Herr Doktor?? (hoping fervently)...I would much rather post comments to your writings than vice versa. :)
    But yeah, I am the most harrumphing pastor in the fruited plains...I'm so anachronistically repristinated that I scare myself
    If you keep reading Herr Doktor - - I'll try to keep writing