The Shire11:49 AM
Still, I deny the majority of these unspoken accusations, although I feel your distant snickering far across the realms of the Internet. Yes, you. But in fact this secret obsession of mine is used as no more than a prologue and a useful analogy to this forthcoming blog.
You see, the other day it suddenly dawned on me that working with Pastor Derek can oftentimes feel much like being under the intense supervision of Gandalf the Grey ( or perhaps, the White, just to please all you nerdy nerds out there who are reading this blog with immense satisfaction). Besides his imposing height and occasional cheekiness, Derek possesses that particular quality of wisdom that is all too infrequent in this world of ours.
And over them all, in this little world, reigns Gandalf. Derek would describe himself as coming from a long line of hard working Ulster Scots, but his heart is truly bent towards this people, and when Derek speaks, people listen. It's not just because of his rather melodious baritone, matched with that rollicking, Irish lilt or any particular manner of face or form, but rather a depth of character and affection that seems to come from something higher than any of us. You seem to feel, when sitting with your fellow Hobbits all dressed in their Sunday best, or with the musical Hobbits in the choir stalls, carefully and Presbyterially robed, that this man is rather fond of you. And if this man, this representative from the Man upstairs, is rather fond of you, then God must somewhere, in His deep, endless heart, be quite fond of you, too. Because of this, no matter what the criticism or uncomfortable nature of the topic, (if I hear another sermon on sex I think I´ll burst into fits of nervous laughter), people listen to this man and respect him in their sarcastic, unforgiving way. The Hobbits are never reticent in sharing an opinion, however, with comments like "Oh, Derek, the sermon was lovely, but the part about the....well, you know, that was a wee bit ticklish! Not that I haven´t thought about sex in those terms, but, oh! A wee cuppa!" And off the disquieted Hobbit will run, searching for relief in the amiable form of a cuppa tea.
My internship is nearly finished and I have learned to love this friendly, yet distant people. They are a people used to many partings and don´t take kindly to strangers, but if you can get in the occasional sarcastic comment and never refuse a biscuit, then maybe, just maybe, they´ll let you have a little chink of their heart. They certainly will always have a chink of mine.