42 – Searching for Answers – A Visit with Pastor Dan

Joe closed the door behind them as the four of them made their way down to his car. It wasn’t long and they were sitting around a table at the pub when Carol walked up to take their order and realized who they were. Hey – I didn’t see you guys walk in. How’s everybody doing? Tom, you’re looking pretty good after everything you have been through. I am feeling really very good Carol, but what is even better is that Ann and I are getting married! Joe’s grin told everyone just how excited he was. Ann smiled as she reached over and laid her hand on Tom’s. Carol quickly replied with a big; Wow – congratulations you two. Ann, you must be really excited as she looked at her with a smile. Everyone could see she was happy for them but the expression on her face told them she was a bit envious and would love to feel the same happiness some day for herself. Ann smiled as she excitedly replied; I am so happy. Tom’s getting better and we are… Ann let her mind take over as she was thinking about the new life she was carrying inside her. Joe and Sarah were sitting holding hands under the table remembering their own bit of news that they wanted to share with Tom and Ann but weren’t quite ready to announce to the world. Carol broke the suspense that hung around the table as she asked; so what can I get you guy’s? Tom and Joe spoke in unison as they both said; give me that new IPA you have on draft and Tom added an order of your delicious nachos with an extra side of guacamole. Ann replied, I just want a coke for now and Sarah ordered a Pils.

Before long the four of them were laughing and joking around. Joe looked over at Tom and said with a chuckle; you are most definitely getting back to your old self. I sure do feel better than I did a few days ago. Ann switched the conversation back to Sarah when she asked; you guy’s said you had something you wanted to tell us. What’s up? Well… Sarah paused long enough for Ann to quickly say; well what. Sarah leaned over and put her arm inside of Joes and her head on his shoulder as she told them; Joe and I are getting married too. Sarah held up her finger that had a beautiful opal ring hanging on it. We’ll get the real diamond ring later, added Joe with a great big smile. That’s pretty cool replied Tom with a smirk on his face. Won’t be long and we’ll all be old married folks! Ha-ha, replied Sarah. Hey Sarah, are you really sure you want to hook up with this guy? Ann reached over and gave Tom a poke in the arm and Tom just smiled his devilish grin. Sarah looked across the table at Ann with a questioning smiled on her face. Ann, you knew about this didn’t you. No I really didn’t, replied Ann as she looked over at Joe. All I knew was that Joe wanted to give it to you and wanted it to fit when he did. You never told me you were going to propose Joe. Joe was smiling from ear to ear when he added; well that kind of just happened as he turned and looked at Sarah giving her a kiss as she had turned her head to look at him. I am so excited for you guy, replied Ann. Tom was just sitting there with a grin on his face when he added; you little devil you. I should have seen this coming as he reached over and gave Joe some knuckles over the center of the table. You two are made for each other. You’re going to be so happy. So when is the date, inquired Ann. Oh my, we haven’t really got that far yet. This just happened while we were in the park and we still need to tell our parents. But what about you two, inquired Sarah? Have you set a date yet? No, not yet. We want to talk to Pastor Dan and see if and when he might be available. I really hope he will perform the ceremony, added Ann. They continued to laugh and talk as they finished there drinks and before long they were making their way out the door and walked back to Joe’s car and headed to his apartment.

While they were driving, Sarah called Pastor Dan to see if he was in his office. Who you calling, asked Joe? I thought I would see when we could stop in and see the boss. He picked up after the first ring as he could see that it was Sarah calling on his display. Hi Sarah, what’s up? We were wondering when we could stop by for a few minutes? Are you really busy? Can you give me a few minutes, replied Pastor Dan? I just need to return one call and I will be free the rest of the afternoon. Sure replied Sarah. How’s twenty minutes sound? That works for me, replied Pastor Dan. Ann looked at Sarah and said; could we join you two? It would give us a chance to see if he will do our wedding also. Sarah quickly responded saying; I was hoping you guys would join us. Then Sarah sat back thinking about how fast things were moving. Joe continued to make a twenty minute trip to the church out of a ten minute drive. Joe added; I’m taking the scenic tour for you guys. I hope you are enjoying it. Yes sir, added Tom. One of the best I’ve ever been on! Before long they pulled into the church parking lot when Sarah spoke up; do you think we should tell him about us Joe? Ann looked a little confused and said I thought that was why you called him? Well not really but maybe it is a good idea. Well do you need to meet with him alone? We can come by at a different time. Joe, quickly spoke up saying; no you guys should come in with us. It’s just that I need to talk to him about the last two dreams I have had. Ann looked a little shocked as she quickly replied; I didn’t know you have had more dreams. Are they bad ones again? Not so much, replied Joe. They just happen in a way that I remember every detail. They are not like the ones we have and then we really can’t remember them after we wake up.

They made their way to the side door of the church which opened into the office area and Pastor Dan was waiting for them as they walked in. Hi you guys. What’s happening anyway, inquired Pastor Dan. How are you feeling Tom? You’re looking pretty good. I’m doing really good, replied Tom. So what did you guys want to see me about? Well it’s like this Pastor Dan, replied Joe. Ok, let’s just call me Dan. You guys can drop the pastor part. The four of them smiled as they said almost in unison; ok Dan. Sarah broke the small talk by saying they each had a couple questions. Maybe Tom and Ann should start. So what can I do for you two, inquired Dan. Ann looked at Tom and he quickly turned to Dan saying; we would like to know if you would… or maybe I should say is it possible… oh just ask him Tom, interjected Sarah. We want to get married and we would like to know if you would do the ceremony? Dan smiled as he said; first of all, congratulations and yes I would be honored to perform it for you. Do you have a time you are looking at? Tom looked at Ann and they both replied, when do you think you could do it? Dan looked a little surprised as he said; sounds like you want to tie the knot sooner than later. Ann looked at Sarah and Sarah quickly stepped into the conversation. Well boss, it’s just that Ann and Tom are also going to be parents. Ann had a blush come over her face, but Tom looked as proud as a peacock. Dan could see the happiness on their face and quickly answered; let’s get my calendar out and see when we can find a date. After a little bouncing around of dates they settled on one for September twentieth. Dan pulled out some information from his file and handed it to Ann and Tom. You two need to review this. It will help you make all the arrangements and give you things to think about. We will also need to schedule a time we can sit together and talk about this commitment you guys are making. Read that over and then give me or Sarah a call and we will set a time to get back together. Thanks so much. We will get back to you in the next couple days, replied Ann.

Ok replied Dan. So what else is on your mind? Sarah looked at Joe and before she could say anything Joe blurted out that they were getting married too. Sarah stood wordless as she pondered what Dan would say. Dan quickly walked over to Joe and shook his hand and gave Sarah a big hug adding; congratulation you two. I kind of felt it was only a matter of time. So when do you want to tie the knot? Well we haven’t even told anyone but you and Tom and Ann as of right now. Tom quickly added with his devilish grin; yah, they just made it official not more than a couple hours ago. Sarah quickly stepped in adding; we need to tell our parents and we are not in that big of a hurry. Joe and I haven’t even talked about dates yet. Ok, replied Dan. Let me know what you two want so we can block it out on the calendar. Wow, that is pretty exciting. You four must be pretty happy right now. Well, interrupted Joe. We have one more thing we want to talk to you about. So what on your mind that can top this, replied Dan?

I am very confused. Not about getting married but about why I am still having dreams. You’re having the same kind you had before, inquired Dan? No, they are a little different but still very real. What I don’t get is why and what they are about. I am such a new believer in this Jesus and God stuff. Why would God be planting dreams on me that I don’t understand? Why me? I just don’t get it, continued a frustrated Joe. Well Joe, replied Dan. I really can’t say for sure but it may be because you are such a new Christian. Yes, I can understand that but remember that I was having them before I made that decision, Joe replied with a little enthusiasm. If you remember that is why I dug into the questions about creation and evolution. That is how I made a decision to accept Jesus into my life. Well you remember how it all started Joe. How you kept digging into finding the answers you were looking for. Maybe that is why you are still having them. Maybe He still has more for you to figure out. Why doesn’t he just tell me, added Joe as he raised both hands to the side of his head showing a level of passionate frustration.

Joe slowly leaned back in the chair next the Pastor Dan desk and just stared at the wall for what seemed like forever but was really only a few seconds when Sarah interrupted his thoughts. Maybe you better tell Pastor Dan what each of your dreams was about. Joe began the story by tell how they both started out similar but both took different directions. One was peaceful and one was scary. One had pleasantness and one had sounds of terror and screaming. After he told the details to Pastor Dan he again sat back quietly in the chair, closed his eyes and waited for some sort of answer. After a short time to think Dan told Joe he would like to ponder and pray a little on everything he had just been told. Would you mind if I say a short prayer right now? I think maybe that would be great was Joe quick reply. Ann, Tom and Sarah sat quietly as Pastor Dan asked God for some guidance for Joe. When he concluded his prayer he looked at Joe and asked if he could come back Monday after work around five o’clock? Sure replied Joe. They all stood up and Dan congratulated both couples one more time as they made their way to the door. I will see you Monday around five Joe. Well I’ll see you tomorrow too, replied Joe.

The four of them thanked Pastor Dan again for his time. Tom and Ann told him that they would get back to him right away about the wedding. Sarah told him not to say anything to her mom and dad yet. They needed to tell them and they wanted to do this after church tomorrow. Sound great, replied Dan. See you tomorrow added Joe. Are you two coming tomorrow also inquired Dan as he looked at Tom and Ann. Wouldn’t miss it, replied Tom. They all waved goodbye as they made their way towards Joe’s car and headed back to Joe’s apartment.

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“To be continued”

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