Preparing another batch of my great Aunt Eva’s fudge recipe this afternoon, I was deep in memories of her kindness and strong sense of family. How I loved her ham sandwiches, hot cocoa, and her delicious fudge during Christmas visits as a child. Then my phone startled me. This text came over my screen.
“Hi Tanja, return my text when you get it, I have a favor to ask. God Bless! Pastor John Thomason.”
I was suspicious, even though my name was spelled correctly. The grammar was off, for starters. Wrong use of commas. Plus, the phone number that came over was unfamiliar. I had texted with my pastor on other occasions and if this was truly him, his name would have come up and not an unfamiliar phone number.
Maybe for some reason the pastor was using someone else’s phone? I took a breath and typed, “Hello Pastor! What’s up?”
In a few minutes, I got this, “Currently in a meeting, would have called. I need to get Amazon gift-cards today for some women battling cancer in the hospital but I can’t do that right now because of my busy schedule. Can you get it from any nearby store now? I will repay. Thanks (sic).
More wonky grammar. Also, my pastor would never do this!
I could have strung this imposter a long to see where I was supposed to send these cards, only to bawl him or her out later, but I had fudge to finish!
Instead I cut to the chase. “Shame on you for impersonating a pastor and lying about people with cancer. God help you. Pray now and ask for forgiveness. We all have to answer to our higher power when we pass from this life. Think about what you are doing in this life. God bless you.”
I could have left it there, but I was on a holy-roll! “Go, sin no more like this. It’s not too late if you stop this and ask God to show you the way to Love.”
I went back to my fudge.
OK, so I was being rather preachy and even punitive to this n’er do well.
I took another breath.
What if I prayed for this person, right there in the text? At worst, he or she would stop the game with me and that would be the end of it. At best, maybe he or she might have a stroke of conscience and what? Repent?
“Dear Awesome, All-knowing God. Have mercy on the person engaged in this illicit behavior. Please look favorably on him/her should you hear from this soul now. Open doors for this person so all of his/her needs can be met in wholesome, soul-restoring ways. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
No reply. I wasn’t expecting it, but instead of getting cranked up and adding more negativity to the world, I went back to happy thoughts of my late, great aunt, and sharing her fudge with my family soon.