Will The Real Pastor Please Stand Up?

At 10 O’clock in the evening on a recent Tuesday night as a cool front rolled in, near a dumpster in an alley behind a church in the downtown district, a group of homeless people gathered behind the windbreak of the back wall of the sanctuary.  One of them was a middle-aged woman whose only protection from the cold was a light jacket, under which she shivered as she huddled close to the wall of the church.  We’ll call her “Angel” so as to hide identities in an effort to protect the innocent and the guilty.

There were two ministers in that town, both of them praying for “Angel” at just that moment.  One of them was a fellow homeless man who got out of the hospital earlier that day.  The nurse who discharged him showed pity and sent him out with a blanket she secured from the linen closet.  At first, he thought about how he might trade the blanket for a pack of cigarettes.  But then he thought more of it as night fell.  This homeless man knew “Angel” would be cold, and he knew where she likely would claim a spot for the night – shelter behind a locked up church.  He would begin the search for her and take a lengthy path to find her if necessary.

The other minister was the pastor of the church behind which “Angel” lay shivering.  A man who from the time he was 14 years old, devoted himself to being a church leader.  It just so happened he was reading a copy of When Helping Hurts, which he piously kept by his night stand.  He had met “Angel” earlier that day, and she had made an impression on him.  He thought she reminded him of his own mother.  But as he prayed, he considered how that if he helped “Angel”, he would need to do so wisely, so as not to enable her broken lifestyle.  Thus he contented himself with the thought that he would allow her in to pray in the morning and get a cup of coffee then, but certainly would not open his family’s door to her and let her sleep in the guest room.  He slept very snug that night in his bed.

Meanwhile, the homeless man leaving the hospital walked two and a half miles in the blowing wind at 10 O’clock at night to find “Angel” and give her his blanket.  When he found her, she was so grateful for his kindness that she devoted herself to his friendship which would last into the Age to Come.

Now, I must ask:  Which minister was a deacon of the church?  Which minister was the pastor???



  1. T. F. Thompson · May 12

    Most of it is all about ‘we are all into this together’. It seems if some or even most are not into it together at all if it means you have to give up something. Then again, Agent X you already know my view and would say the ‘pastor’ of the church was never a pastor, for a pastor is not a noun but a verb. His ‘pastoring’ is all about keeping his members warm and cozy and feeling good about their selves. More than likely this ‘pastor’ would even give a sermon about serving the poor and homeless and oh, it would sound so good. Whereas, the truth be known, the ‘pastor’ doesn’t like these awkward people at all. And an even greater truth is that the world is no different. The real theme here that I see is that the guy with the blanket showed up as a true friend. This is all so much important than people walking around pretending something they are not. In this case for sure, there was absolutely no pretensions in the giving. It was cold.


    • Agent X · May 12

      The term for that at Fat Beggars is “Pastorbation”. It is an ugly thing to see, and a shameful thing for Jesus to catch you doing.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. LoiterLarry · May 12

    Is this a true story? Or is this from the schizophrenic voices?


    • Agent X · May 12

      Larry, to be frank with you, I must say – YES. It is a true story. But that has more to do with my suspicion(s) and expectations than with first-hand, historical knowledge – or even second/third hand for that matter.

      No. Nothing like that. Actually, I took your advice (which I have been doing a few times here and there already. I really thought you would recognize it.

      So… may this is from among the schizophrenic voices. (Surprised you still remember all that.)

      So, truth be known, I was reading the parable Jesus tells in Matt. 21:28-32, and I reworked it a bit into a modern homeless parable. I make no claim that it is biblical, in and of itself, but I do claim it is heavily influenced by the Bible. I did this kind a thing before in a post called the parable of two addicts. I think you saw it. Maybe you didn’t make the connection? Anyway, that was a blending of a few parables reworked into a homeless parable too.

      So… yeah… voices, I reckon.


      Liked by 1 person

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