I just wanted to say thank you. It has been quite some time since I have taken up residence with many of your members, and I have found that I have been freely welcomed by so many. At first I had a bit of trouble getting their attention, but after some persistence, we were able to become very friendly. Because of my reputation, many resisted being hospitable to me in the beginning. But I didn’t let that turn me away.
I continued to show up at their doorstep. I would continuously call on them, and after while, often when they were too tired and stressed to push me out the door, I would be invited in. Just for a brief visit, of course. They couldn’t be seen with me for fear of what people might think, so often I would come late at night or when I knew they would be alone. After I became a bit more familiar, the visits became longer and more frequent. Now that I have spent considerable time with them, we are both very comfortable.
Even your pastor has been welcoming, which I couldn’t have predicted. Actually, he’s been a very gracious host, even allowing me in the church while he worked late a few evenings. He really had a hard time allowing me in at first, but he was just so lonely. There has been so many things on his plate, and he really didn’t get the support he was needing from you. So, I was happy to keep him company. He’ll change his mind from time to time and shut me out. But I have learned that if I keep showing up at just the right times, he will let me stay with him for awhile. Now that he has a smartphone to help keep his tremendous workload with him at all times, it has been even easier to be there for him. I’m so glad he can stay connected.
I will probably be seeing more of you in the near future. Now that there are so many ways to be in contact with your members, I can remain close. It’s been great going to work with them, riding in the car with them, and keeping them company on work trips. I will continue to stay close for as long as I can. There is rarely anywhere I am not able to be with them. I have been in more places than I could’ve ever expected: classrooms, barns, parks, restaurants…I’ve even ridden with a couple of them in their tractors.
This season will help me stay close as well. Now that the weather is growing colder, I have noticed they invite me more often. You don’t spend time together that often in the colder months, especially, so I am more than willing to be with them. The more they are alone, the easier it is to be there for them. This season can also be stressful and lonely, so I will make sure to call as often as possible. I know finances around the holidays can really get them down, so I will be there to offer a distraction from those things. I realize the church is not able to be as available as I am, so I will continue to be as accessible as possible.
I am especially grateful you have not made a big deal about me hanging around. I know I have caused some turmoil in several marriages and families, but I appreciate you haven’t made any plans to get rid of me. When people start discussing my visits, all of a sudden, you all start ganging up on me. It’s not really fair to me, after all. You let me become part of you and then kick me out. When all of you are on the same team, I’m left out and no longer wanted. People start locking their doors, protecting their children, and coming up with plans to keep me from coming around anymore. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen very often.
The less my name comes up, the better.
Thanks again for creating an environment in which I can continue to be a greater part of the lives of your people. It has been a pleasure.
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