Tim sat nervously on the hard metal bench for his turn to go into the interrogation room and see his adopted/spiritual father, Paul Hampton. Tim had met Paul some fifteen years previously; Tim had taken to Paul, and vice versa. The man who was once his pastor had also become a father figure to the fatherless Tim and had eventually led the young man to Christ. The more he got to know Paul, the more he thought of Paul as his father.
Tim knew that he would be carefully watched especially for any exchange of contraband. Idly, he twiddled his thumbs, resisting the urge to stand and pace along the off-white hallway, mostly because he did not want to draw the attention of the cops to him anymore than already was. Dressed to impress, and hopefully to disarm the cops, Tim found himself uncomfortable in the black slacks and jacket with the starched white linen shirt combined with the red tie, he wanted to be himself.
The young, dashing pastor, which his father had left in charge, who was a firm believer in dressing casually for gatherings, but, desperate times called for desperate measures, and it wasn’t just a blanket that his father was requesting this time. His father had requested a full report on the on goings of the church, running every aspect down from the ministries to the doctrines that were being taught. At first, Tim was baffled, but then the false doctrines became known, and then everything became clear.
There was still the danger aspect, Tim knew that he had to be careful on what he said, and how because of the political movements to destroy the church. Most cops loved to eavesdrop on any conversations within their territory; they would do anything just to advance their own rank, especially if the information revealed any weaknesses in the still stabilizing church.
Tim wrinkled his toes in his left shoe, and then repeated the motion in his other shoe. He wasn’t ever going to get these shoes broken in correctly. He glanced down at the briefcase and grimaced. The church was threatening to pull itself apart because of false doctrines and he needed his dad’s advice with this.
He knew what he needed to do, but the church elders were starting to rebel against him. Tim ran a hand through his dark curls and blinked wearily several times. This problem was weighing heavily on his heart.
The door swung opened, allowing Tim to enter the interrogation room and a grin spread crossed his face when he saw his father.
His dad winked once at Tim, keeping his back to the mirror, and the message was clear. Keep it professional—for now.
“Mr. Hampton,” Tim began. “How are they treating you?”
“Well enough, how is the company holding up?” Paul questioned.
Timothy sighed, slid the paperwork out of his briefcase, and placed it on the table for Paul to read.
“Do you have any advice?”
Paul thought for a long moment, considering the papers for a long moment. He glanced over to the mirror and chewed on his lip as he continued to consider everything. As he thought, Tim found himself studying his father.
Healing bruises littered Paul’s face and Tim found himself frowning in concern. How much longer was his father going to last in this place? Rumors were beginning to spread about what happened to pastors that were captured—and the rumors were never good.
Paul sighed as he motioned for Tim’s pen and withdrew a letter that was almost finished and began to scrawl: Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
He continued to write a little longer before signing his name and folding the paper. “Send this to the church. This is my advice to them now.” Paul paused and glanced towards the mirror and smiled weakly. “Now, let me pray for you, son. I want to bless you as my heir and as the Lord’s voice to the church.”
Paul shook his head with a smile. “They will not harm you, son, now, let me pray for you.”
Tim found himself smiling as he reached across, took his pastor and father’s strong hands, and squeezed them tightly as Paul began to pray, lifting up his young successor and the flock that was slowly growing.
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