Perchance to Dream

He sits quietly for a few moments in the pub, swirling the dark ale in his glass, thinking unheard thoughts before answering my question.

“Twenty years,” he finally announces, placing his glass gently but firmly back on the table.

I did a double-take, my own ale momentarily forgotten. “Twenty years?" I  managed to say, unable to disguise my shock.

“Yeah, hard to believe, eh?” He leaned forward on his elbows and taking a hearty sip of his beer. “It’s been twenty years since I was last in full-time ministry.”

“How do you process that?" I heard myself ask before my brain could advise against it. I blame the shock; Id barely touched my pint. “Does it feel like you’ve lost something, did times just change, or do you view ‘ministry’ differently now?”

He and his wife exchange glances. “All of the above,” he replies. “I think something was lost, something I’d love to get back. Times have changed, churches have changed, society’s changed. And I guess we look at ministry differently, but let me tell you something …” He plants one hand on the table, palm-down, to emphasize what he’s saying. “When we talked about  life dreams at our home group a few weeks ago, only one couple still dreams of full-time ministry – us.”

“Our home group’s awesome; good friends, Godly people,” his wife chimes in, “but we were the only ones with ministry-oriented dreams.”

He straightens in his chair, the food on the table cold and forgotten. “I guess we still dare to dream.”

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