I came back to work today. I was out for 6 weeks - 2 weeks of vacation book-ending 4 weeks of study (click here for more info about my study break). Technically, I returned to my regular work on Sunday. But even that wasn't 'normal' because we had a mini-retreat planned with our senior staff (which we call the 'Blue Team'). So got home from vacation on Saturday and spend Sunday through Tuesday away on that retreat. Today, I finally got to my office after a long time away. There was some surprise waiting. Here's a sample of what I saw when I opened my door:
Everything had been wrapped in toilet paper and plastic! It was pretty funny. I guess I've been gone so long, they had to shrink-wrap the room!
But the favorite think I found was inconspicuous. It would be easy to miss by the average person. It looked like this:
So what...just a nickel. Can't even buy anything with it anymore. What's the big deal? Well, a few years ago, a group of guys at our church went to a men's rally in PCC kind of put together. They brought in a great speaker who challenged them in many areas. One of those areas was to pray for their pastor. His symbol was a nickel. "Pray for your pastor 5 days every week and give him a nickel every week when you do. I have a special flask in my study at home where those nickels have accumulated and grown into substantial collection now. Most Sundays, 1 or 2 or 3 guys (and occasionally a lady who found out about this ritual) will just walk up and hand me a nickle. It means a lot to me.
This nickel on my desk was put there for a reason. Someone - and I don't know who - is sending a message to me. They're saying, "even when you are away and not bringing us messages and making us laugh, I'm still praying for you." I can't tell you how much that means to me.
So, for all the saran wrap and toilet paper, I sure do appreciate the person who also sent a fun message that simply said 'I love you enough to pray for you regularly'.
Looking forward to diving back in really hard today.