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Henry’s Watch — part 15 in a series glancing back

July 24, 2017

“What time does yours have, Reverend?”

He was standing in the center of the aisle at the back of the sanctuary, tapping on this wristwatch as he asked me that.

I was walking towards him.

The choir was leading the congregation in their regular end-of-worship song. I had just pronounced the Benediction, and was thrilled not to have not made any major mistakes in my first Sunday morning worship service in this county seat town.

“Pardon me, Sir?”

He looked down at his watch. “What time ya got?”

Pulling my white shirt sleeve back, I looked at my own watch and proudly announced, “Did it! Got us out in one hour exactly! My watch says it’s 11:05!”

He tapped the face of his watch again, and lifting it to his ear, looked at me. “We get out here at 10:55, Reverend.”

He was the Head Usher; his nametag said so. His name was Henry. He quickly became a friend.

Henry and his wife Ruth were two people that could be counted on to be present for almost everything going on in that church. They were two of the most supportive people I’ve met in any church anywhere.

In both word and deed, they let others know that they loved their Lord and they loved their Lord’s church. For real. I think everybody in town knew them, and I never heard anyone say anything bad about either of them.

During all the years I served there, no matter where or when we’d see each other, one of us could tap his watch and the other would grin and reply with couple of quick taps on his own watch.

And yup, after that first Sunday morning I was usually coming up the aisle towards a smiling Henry at 10:55.



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  1. Gwendy Garner permalink

    Henry, one of my favorite people in the world. Loved him dearly. Thank you for this precious memory, brought to life again.


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