9 of us in my car, great committee meeting

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So a blizzard’s coming in; what they call, with relish, a Nor’easter. And I’m in Buffalo, trying to get to Connecticut. It’s 4:30AM and I’m at the airport. Flight’s cancelled, of course. Finally get a flight to Philadelphia and, after two more cancelled flights, fly into Hartford Connecticut. 12:30PM. So far, so good.

I rent a car and drive down the freeway at 30 MPH, my body contorted to see through the little space the wipers manage to clear as the snow pelts this line of brave little cars traveling in a slow single file. No time for lunch. Must…get…there.

Finally get to Springfield MA and get lost. Use my Blackberry for directions and make my way to the church with an hour to spare for the big committee meeting.

Nobody’s there. The parking lot is virgin snow. The church deserted. A flag, that I assume is of Massachusetts, flaps silently over the whiteness. "At least I made it," I’m thinking. "Wow, these New Englanders are tough." As far as I know only 2 people have said they’re going to attend by conference call. I imagine all the others dutifully creeping across the state with their defrosters going full-blast.

2:45PM and still nobody’s there. Little alarms start going off in my head. Am I at the right church? Somebody should have arrived by now. I call Janet and she gives me the pastors’ phone number.

"Are you kidding?" he says? "Church was canceled today. Nobody would go out in weather like this!" So much for hardy New Englanders.

So I sat in my red rented Grand Prix, with the motor running so I wouldn’t freeze to death and we had a great conference call. Everyone else safe and warm in their snug little homes and me feeling like an idiot, having traveled through 4 states to show up in the empty parking lot.

I confessed to the committee where I was and we all had a good laugh, although some were laughing harder than others.

After church I called the pastor back and got directions to his house. There was pastor Vargas and family and 3 young men from the Dominican neighborhood they’re ministering to. I loved being able to glimpse the world of this church planting team, Dominicans in Massachusetts. Delightful people We talked for a few minutes and then prayed together and I got back in my Grand Prix/mobile conference center for the drive back to the car rental place.

It’s dark. Now it’s raining, and now it’s sleeting, and now it’s freezing rain. I stop to get a burger and fill up the car’s tank. It should be lonely standing here with my ears freezing, pumping gas, but it’s not. It feels just right. Tomorrow I’ll be warm on the outside, right now I’m warm on the inside, being a part of this rescue team, a rescue team that delights in its work. Rescuing the wounded, the broken, the punctured, the deflated, as well as the simply worn-out. Rescuing because we take delight in them.

II Samuel 22:20b "He rescued me because he delighted in me."