Old Fashioned

Do Things The Old Fashioned Way – By Memory

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, showed up in person the other day, and he had us sputtering around in surprise and amazement. He and his son-in-law were in the Fraser Valley fishing for wild salmon and had been fishing in the Vedder and Fraser River here at Chilliwack.  According to Ed, this was just a test-the-waters trip. Yes, he wanted to see if the fishing was good, but also to check out our place in case he and Ruby want to come back again and stay longer with us.

Ed’s son-in-law and fishing partner has family at Mission and left Ed here to visit for Saturday and Sunday before they headed back to Edmonton on Monday. We spent Saturday touring around the farmland around Chilliwack so that Ed could compare the farms here to ones back home. Our old neighbor was impressed with Salish Park beside our condo, and all the shopping and activities of downtown. Being so close to a huge bowling alley, Ed had to admit that we lived in a good place, with mountain views. We bowled several games Saturday night, and Ed’s visit was working out well until Sunday.

Ed associates church with funerals or weddings, both of which he endures as a chore and undeserved suffering like a tooth ache. The Sunday that Ed was visiting, I was filling in as Pastor for two services at our church, and a nursing home service in the afternoon. We told Ed that he need not attend church with us, but he was determined to accompany us, as if, it wouldn’t be any problem on his part. There is a Tim Horton’s around the corner from our church. We told Ed if the two services were too long for him to endure, that he could go to Tim’s for coffee and cigarettes. Ed scoffed that we didn’t think he could make it through two church services. He assured us that he could concentrate that long. Our old neighbor was looking forward to the Nursing Home Service at the town of Hope, as he would get to see another community about forty minutes or so, east of Chilliwack in the mountains.

The first service was a challenge for Ed; it followed the hymnal and Ed said, “I got lost flipping pages. It had too much reading, and saying, and singing for me.” The second service that was a power point presentation had everything on a screen, so he did not open any book at all. Ed found that he could not believe we had singers with guitars, violin, piano and drums and the songs were so modern that he had never heard of them. The best for Ed was the nursing home service. That service was the shortest. If the folks there said things, it was from memory with the pastor. Ed was amazed that they were so obviously treasuring God and the opportunity to worship him.

Ed was thrilled that he had a chance to fish for wild salmon in the Fraser Valley. He had too much church, but he was impressed with those who worshipped God in a heartfelt way. Ed found that worship isn’t about hymnals, or power point presentations but the honest, heartfelt, treasuring of God by those who are worshipping.

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Raymond Maher
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