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Resignation, Part 27

This is a weekly work of fiction.  You can find other chapters by checking out my Fiction page.

Fred McGinley walked into the meeting room.  Maybe it was just because he had been through this so many times.  Maybe it was the hurdles and obstacles they had been facing lately.  Maybe it was simply that Bill Johnson was the only member of the team that really didn’t want to work with the others.  Regardless, it was getting harder to keep going.  He wasn’t sure he could keep going.  The thoughts of resigning and letting someone younger take his place had crossed his mind on more than one occasion.

David, Tom and Teresa were already sitting there chatting about various things as they waited.  They all looked toward him as he entered the room.  Teresa beamed at him.  She had always seemed to love him and he did too.  How many times had she spent the night with the girls when they were young?  She was like another daughter to him.

Tom nodded at him.  He hadn’t spent a lot of time with Tom, but he liked him.  He seemed to be someone who really wanted to live out his faith.  He had a good reputation around town.  He had never heard anything bad about him at all.

Tom stood and warmly greeted him, shaking his hand.  He let Fred sit down before he resumed talking.

“Fred, I was just telling Tom and Teresa that this meeting may be a little different from what we’ve been used to.  At least, that’s my prayer.  I don’t want to say too much until it’s over, but we may  leave a little happier today.”

Fred just took that in and pondered on it for a moment.  If it went like it had been he could just resign today.  There were other things he could be doing rather than coming to contentious meetings.  He wouldn’t hold his breath, but maybe David knew what he was talking about.  He would just have to see.

They engaged in some chit-chat for a few minutes.  They had all gotten there early.  Fred valued arriving early.  He always had.  This was just another reason that Bill Johnson irritated him.  He always wanted to make a grand entrance.  He liked having all of the attention on himself.  Plus, he didn’t seem to care to keep everyone else waiting.

The door opened and Fred looked up.  Sure enough, Bill Johnson strolled in.  He walked in quickly and sat down.  Fred looked at him and something was different.  He tried to place what it was and then it hit him.  Bill wasn’t grinning like he normally was.

“Sorry I’m late, folks.  I had some appointments earlier today and then had to get with Sharon.  Have I missed anything?”  Bill looked around at everyone.

Fred checked everyone’ reaction.  It was still five minutes before the meeting was scheduled to start.  Teresa was looking around at everyone with a slightly bewildered look.  Tom seemed to be doing his best to remain stoic, but Fred could tell that he was puzzled by what Bill had said as well.  Fred was curious about what was going on.  He couldn’t process what was happening.  Bill had to be pulling one on him, right?  He expected the other shoe to drop at some point during the meeting.

David was the only one who didn’t seem to be surprised and he spoke up. “No problem, Bill.  We were just chatting until you got here.  Let’s go ahead and get started.”

“David, do you care if I start the meeting?  I have something that I need to tell all of you.”  Fred had dropped his eyes and was looking at the table.  Fred really wondered what was going on now.

“Sure, that will be fine, Bill.”

“Folks, I know that I haven’t been the best team member since we started this thing.  In fact, I haven’t been the best church member when it comes down to it.  I just want to apologize to all of you for that.  I have had something come up that has put all of this in perspective and I realize how wrong I’ve been.  I just told Sharon, so you are the next to hear this.”

Fred could almost hear an audible gasp come from everyone.  They all just had a blank look on their faces.  

“I found out this morning that I have a brain tumor.  I’ve had head aches for a while and that’s what has been causing them.  I don’t really know much more than that.  I have some more appointments scheduled and I’ll know more.  But I’m just not sure if I can or should continue on this team.”

They all sat there stunned.  Each one of them looked back and forth to each other.  Finally, Fred spoke up.

“Bill, I can’t speak for everyone else.  The way things have been going, I was thinking about resigning from this team myself today if things went like they had been.  Instead, I want us to pause right now and pray for you.  Do you mind?”

“Fred, I would appreciate it.”  Bill looked up and there seemed to be some moistening around his eyes.

Fred prayed for Bill’s healing and that the Lord would be glorified through the entire situation.  He seemed to already be getting praise in the  meeting.

David spoke up next. “Bill, I understand you not knowing if you can continue.  We have a possibility for an interim pastor that I want to talk to all of you about.  If you can’t make it to all of the meetings about it, I understand, but I would love it if  you would stay on the team and support it until we make a decision.  I think we need to show unity to the church right now.  The church isn’t very unified right now.

Bill looked at him.  “That’s my fault.  I’ve been causing most of the disunity.  Let me talk to Sharon and see if I can work it out to stay on for a while.”

David smiled.  “That sounds great, Bill.  Anyone else have anything to say?”

Fred spoke up.  “I do, David.  Tell us about this potential interim.”

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