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Resignation, Part 41

Dale looked at his watch.  He had come to the church a bit early so he could get some work done before his meeting started.  He wasn’t sure what was going on, but counseling went with the territory.  He had counseled so many people over the years, but primarily he had poured his time into college students for the last half-dozen years or so.  This was back to the where he cut his teeth, counseling folks that he preached to every week.

He heard a car drive up and knew  that it was about time.  He put his books back in his book bag and closed his Bible.  He left it on his desk in case he needed it.  No telling what he was about to get into.

Shortly he heard a knock on the door to the pastor’s office.  Dale didn’t consider it his office.  He was just a temporary resident, so he was trying to not claim the space for when he needed to get out quickly.  He had started looking at where he would be looking for a pastorate.  Each week his desire was growing stronger and he realized that Doug had been right.  This was what he was meant to do.  Teaching had been just a temporary assignment from the Lord.

Dale opened the door and there stood Tom Davis.  Tom had been right on time.  He didn’t know much about Tom, other than he was an accountant.  It made sense that he would be precise in arriving.  In his limited encounters with Tom he had seen him as a fairly black and white person.  He was glad that he had come in early to get his work done.

“Come on in, Tom.  You doing ok?”  Dale opened the door wide  and let Tom in.  He noticed that Tom seemed nervous.  Dale wondered what could have him so uptight?

“Yeah, I’m doing fine.”  Tom just seemed fidgety.  He was wringing his hands a bit and looking around the office.

“Have a seat and we’ll get started.  What’s going on?  You seemed like you really needed to talk when you called me earlier.”

“Yeah, it’s something that I really haven’t faced before.  I don’t know how to handle it.”  Tom looked up at the ceiling.

“Ok, why don’t you just lay it on me.  I’m sure I won’t be surprised.”  Dale tried to give Tom a smile to reassure him.

“It’s like this.”  Tom looked down at his hands.  Dale just wondered inwardly what it was.  “I’m…I’m…I’m in love.”  Tom looked like he was going to throw up.

Dale just sat there for a second.  “That’s it?”, he thought.  “Tom’s in love?”  He thought for a minute to when he first realized when he and Melissa were in love.  It made him a bit sick and he couldn’t eat for half a day.

“Well, that’s great, Tom.  Tell me about it.”  Dale grinned at Tom.

“Well, it’s Teresa.  She and I have been seeing quite a bit of each other.  I realize that I want to talk to her first thing when I wake up and last thing before I go to bed.”  Tom seemed relieved, like he had kept this whole concept of loving Teresa bottled up inside.

“Well, fantastic! How does she feel?”  Dale just kept grinning.

“That’s the problem.  I don’t know.  I think she feels the same.  She keeps going out with me.  She fixes me dinner some days.  I just don’t know.”

Dale realized there was Tom’s problem.  He was worried what was really going on between himself and Teresa.

“Well, have you thought about asking her how she feels?  I imagine that you are feeling a bit tormented right now, not knowing.  You’re going to have to find out so that you can figure out the next step.”  Dale leaned forward a bit just to put a little emphasis on what he was saying.

“That’s what scares me a bit.  I’m afraid that she really just wants to be friends.  I really haven’t dated anyone in years.  Teresa and I didn’t know each other very well before the search team happened.  It would destroy me if she really didn’t want to date me, but I don’t know what to do if she does.  What is that next step?”  Tom’s leg starting bouncing up and down as though it had a life of its own.

“Well, first, settle down.  Take a deep breath.  Do you want me to tell you what to do?  It’s been a while since I’ve really dated anyone, but I can give you some pointers.  But the first thing is that you must have a serious conversation with Teresa.  You can’t just let this go on and on.  Teresa doesn’t want you to do that.  You don’t want that.  You have to figure out where you are.  Then, it comes down to what you want.  Do you know what you want?”  Dale leaned back in his chair.  He was used to counseling young adults on this kind of thing.  Not a grown adult.

“Sure.  I want to date her for a while and marry her.  Neither one of us are exactly young.  I would like to have children”  Tom seemed to be settling down.  It almost seemed as though Tom was coming to know exactly what he wanted his relationship with Teresa to be.

“Well, Tom, it seems to me that you must have a conversation like that with her.  You don’t have to tell her that you want to marry her.  You might want to tell her that you want to see if your relationship will lead in that direction.  Of course, you probably want to find out if she really wants to date you first.  Not just be a friend, but if she wants to commit to finding out if the two of you want to be married.”

Tom slowly closed his eyes.  He opened them and he smiled.  “You’re right.  That’s what I need to do.  I am going out with her tonight.  The most important thing we could do tonight is find out where we are. ”

Dale watched as Tom seemed to settle into what he was saying.  It was as though he hadn’t been sure of where he was when he came in and now knew exactly what the score was.

“Tom, let’s pray.  Melissa and I will be praying tonight as you are out on your date.  I pray that the Lord will guide you.”  Dale and Tom both lowered their heads.

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  1. July 27, 2013 at 6:57 am

    Larry, I just want you to know that reading the next chapter each week is something I look forward to on my Saturday mornings now. Please keep them coming. Thank you 🙂

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