Sunday, June 17, 2012

the bishop

a few years ago, my dad was called to be the bishop of the ward in which i grew up. (for those of you not familiar with lds organization, a bishop is responsible for the spiritual and temporal welfare of a congregation, usually consisting of a few hundred people. they usually serve 3-5 years and, like all positions in the church, it is unpaid.) my sister and i have often lamented that we can't be there to see him in his new calling, but our friends all tell us he's great.

when i was at home for Christmas, he got a call one night for a young mother who was having some especially hard times and needed some help. since he can't meet with a female alone, he asked me to come with him and sit in the church foyer while he talked with her in his office. i saw her as she came in; she was pretty and in her early twenties.

i passed the time by playing "cut the rope" on my phone.

when she left, my dad asked me to help find some prices on a rental van to help her move back home with her family. so i did some research on my phone while he called this girl's former bishop to find out more. it was interesting, being in the same bishop's office that i had sat in as a teenager and talked with bishop giles and bishop jeppson. now, kids would come in here and talk with my dad.

coming out of the office, he noted the darkened chapel and told me how he'd just gone in there and sat after hearing (and having to deal with) some especially tragic news just a few weeks earlier.

since we were already there, he asked me to help him check and stock the paper towels and toilet paper in the bathrooms. again, this was the church building that i'd grown up in. i'd raced down these halls in cub scouts, staggered in half asleep during early morning seminary, and chased my friend who was holding the last bit of ice cream in his hand (don't ask.) i was only in this building for two or three sundays a year anymore, but it still held a lot of memories for me.

now, my dad was the bishop and we were going through the supply closet, grabbing rolls of toilet paper and making sure everything was in order. it was pretty unglamorous work, but to be there with my dad on a cold winter night, helping him check the bathrooms in the fargo church building, was a quietly special moment.

1 comment:

Em said...

My favorite thing you've written in a while. Maybe it's just where I am and where this is at all converges meaningfully. But it's good stuff.