I must be slow or something, but I can't get used to the idea that Alex is a preacher. This is such a huge step in our lives, yet he still looks and acts like Alex. Shouldn't he look differently, more holy and untouchable? But that's what I think is going to be a strength. He has had life before this calling, and he still looks and acts like Alex. Now that I think about it, it really is a big deal that he has had that life, because he can empathize with tons of folks about a lot of different things.
We were at the farmer's market last weekend in Bentonville, talking to Larry about a quarter cow we wanted to get from him. We use to get a quarter every year in the fall when we lived in Colorado, and honestly, it's the best way to go for the price and the quality of meat. Larry asked what brought us to Arkansas, and to tell you the truth, Alex and I look at each other when someone asks, to see who is going to tell the short story of the past four years. We told him that we came from Kentucky, where Alex was in seminary, and that he was appointed to Rogers (who really cares about the long story anyway?). "What's seminary?" Larry asked. So after we explain, Larry says, "Well, I guess I can't say what I usually tell folks who ask about my cows." Now here's my point. Until Larry knew that Alex was a preacher, he was at ease in just talking with him about beef and whatever else they were talking about. But the minute you find out you’re talking to a preacher, you’re talking to someone different. So Alex put Larry at ease and said not to worry about it, that if he hadn't said it himself, he was pretty sure he had heard it already. Sure enough, he had. It was something about a big bottle of Jack Daniels and driving around Larry's farm.So, I'm glad that Alex still looks and acts like Alex. In fact, I wouldn't have it any other way. He has been refined like silver, and at times, I still see the smoke. God wants him the way he is so He can shine through him, so that he can reach people where they are, as they are, and make them into shiny people too.