D.C. Comics

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  • So I got to LAX Wednesday morning and begin to check-in. But the computer wouldn’t recognize any of my information. That should have been a sign to me of how my day was going to go. I had missed my flight – by more than two hours. (For the record, this was absolutely not my fault – this time. But that’s another story.) The standby flights they could put me on would not get me to Washington D.C. until 8:15. This, of course, would be too late for me to actually speak in the worship service I was headed to. So I sat in the airport, waiting to make contact with Pastor Burton, to find out if he still wanted me to come.

    I have known Pastor Garfield Burton for some years now. We met when he was the assistant pastor at the Glendale Baptist Church (now known as “The Sanctuary) in Landover, under Pastor Anthony Maclin. Pastor Burton has led the Macedonia Church in D.C. for four years. This is my second time doing this meeting for him. Last year, I was scheduled to come. But my wife’s father took ill in Texas. And the morning I was to leave and come here, I decided it would be best for me to send Crystal to check on her father, while I stayed at home with the kids. Pastor Burton – a true friend – was compassionate, encouraging, and prayerful. I will never forget it. So I was glad to be invited again. But I was disappointed that I had missed my flight. I really thought Burton would just tell me to stay home.

    He didn’t. So I caught standby flights to Washington D.C. With delays and weather all the other stuff that goes along with flying standby, I didn’t arrive here until about a quarter to nine. Pastor instructed me to wait for my bag. This, and the lateness of the hour, confirmed for me that I would not be preaching. As we got in the car, I asked who preached the service. Pastor told me no one. He was waiting on me to get here. I think I heard that and didn’t hear it. When the driver asked where he was to go, Pastor told him to go to the church. Again, I made nothing of this, thinking we were just going to pick up pastor’s car. When we pulled up fifteen minutes later, several people were outside waiting on us. And the next thing I know, we are heading into the service – still in progress at 9:20! Pastor thanked the Lord for my safe arrival, and asked the choir to sing one more selection. Then he began to pour me a glass of water. I asked him what was going on. Did he really want me go for it and preach? Yep. He did. So I did. And at about ten minutes to ten, we were going back out the door, heading to check me into my hotel.

    On the way from the airport, I texted Crystal and told her I had missed the service and that I would call her in a few minutes, when I got to the room. But about thirty minutes later, I texted her again and told her that I had just finished preaching. She was shocked, to say the least. So was I! This is my life. Make of it what you will. God be praised for his goodness, wisdom, and faithfulness to me in and through all of my mishaps.

    So how was your day?


    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.