Occasionally there is a technical hiccup and our church service doesn’t record and/or upload to all the socials… and this Sunday was one of those times. Because this message is so central to our church, I feel like the notes are essential and should be on record. So, here they are:
I worked at the Rainier Beach Veterinary Hospital from my 15th birthday through high school, college, and my first couple years of marriage. This was not glamorous work. It was odiferous. And challenging. But it paid the bills, got me through some important phases of my life, and I mostly liked it. Saturdays were always challenging. It was the biggest day of the week. Crazy number of non-stop appointments. And all the cat and dog bathing we could manage.
One Saturday, I personally bathed over 100 animals.
There it is. My claim to fame.
“Our pastor is on Television. Our pastor is a social media influencer. Our pastor is an entrepreneur. Our pastor wrote the definitive book on raising children.”
Wow. Wow. Wow.
OK. Fairwood–what is your pastor known for?
“He once bathed over 100 cats and dogs in a single Saturday in the Rainier valley.”
Is that like animal baptisms?
No. just shampoo and conditioner and flea dip.
Oh. OK. Huh. I mean, that’s kinda weird.
Yeah, you’re not wrong.
Our pastor is, whispers, “special.”
The veterinary hospital was not open on Sundays. But animals were still there – recovering from surgery, being treated for infection and disease, being boarded. So, we didn’t need all the workers, but someone did have to come in and let the dogs out (who, who?).
Someone did have to come feed all the cats, clean all the kennels, feed the dogs, feed the random goat, bird, bunny, Vietnamese pot belly pig…
Stuff like that.
I liked the extra money, so I always volunteered to take care of the animals on Sunday nights.
The office was quiet, empty of people.
The animals were happy to be fed and given attention.
It was nice… my favorite day to work there.
And, even though I was paid by the hour and filled out my time card on Sunday night before leaving, the Veterinarian, Dr. Young, would always tape a $20 bill to the white board for me and any specific instructions about animals and their medications.
This same white board, on a Saturday, would have the name of every animal that needed to be bathed, dried, brushed, and sprayed with our signature pet cologne…
Seeing the volume of pet names on a Saturday would stress me out. But also, it was kinda like a challenge. Could it be done? Could I do it? On time?
Somehow, it always worked out. And I felt satisfied AND DONE.
You know what I mean?
But, also, those Sunday nights with no list of animals to be bathed, those Sunday nights with cash taped to the white board, those Sunday nights of quiet and calm…
They were my favorites.
I guess, when I look back and think about it, I’m thankful for the experience.
And I’m definitely thankful for the ebb and flow, the balance, the equilibrium, you know?
I’m thankful not every day is Saturday. I’m thankful for Sunday.
In many ways, Sunday was the reward for my work on Saturday.
Chaos, followed by quiet.
Or was it quiet that prepared me for the coming chaos? Mmmmm hmmmmmmmmm.
So, that back-and-forth… that intense activity, followed by quiet and undistracted attention…
That’s what I hope to speak about today…. Read More