The Puking Preacher

Sam Rainer

November 6, 2007

I now have my most embarrassing moment.

I woke up at 5AM last Sunday with severe pains in my side and back. I didn’t feel sick, but I knew that something was not quite right. If you are a pastor reading this, then you know that early Sunday morning is not the greatest time to find a replacement to preach a sermon. So I decided to chance it and fight through the pain.

I managed the pain through my Sunday School lesson, but they could tell I wasn’t in full form. They asked what was bothering me. I told them about my symptoms of intense pains in my lower back and stomach coming in waves.

“Do you drink diet sodas a lot?” David asked.

“I live off them,” I replied.

“And you don’t drink a lot of water, do you?”


“Do you eat peanuts?”

“Yes, I snack on them.”

“You’ve got kidney stones!” he exclaimed in quasi-joy at his perceived correct diagnosis.

I thought I was too young to have kidney stones, but it seemed that I matched with the symptoms. Thinking I could bare the pain at least long enough to get through my sermon, I went on to the service. All was well until Joe, our music minister, started leading us in Amazing Grace. Ironically, the pains returned, and I began to sweat profusely and shake. A deacon asked if I was ok.

“I’ll make it,” I tried to reassure him.

I took the pulpit and managed through half my sermon. I don’t really remember the last half, but church members have since told me that I swayed and slurred my way to the end.

It was at this point that I realized I didn’t have kidney stones.

You can preach through a lot of things, but you cannot preach through the stomach flu. I called for a deacon to close the service and I walked out backstage. I passed-out and puked everywhere. It was a righteous spew.

I came to with the chairman of the deacon body holding me up while one of the personnel committee members scrubbed the floor around me.

Something about washing people’s feet went through my head. But somehow I think they both would rather have washed my feet.

“You all right?”

“Yeah, I think I’ll be fine. Did the service end ok?” I asked faintly.

“Well, we all knew you were sick.”

“Really, you could tell?”

“Well, we all heard ya…”

“Was I that loud?!”

“Mmm… I think you forgot to turn your mic off…”

As indicated in the title, I now have a new nickname with the staff.

13 comments on “The Puking Preacher”

  1. forthekingdom says:

    Awesome! A great story for your grandkids one day.

  2. Thom Rainer says:

    Actually, I think it’s a great story for your kids today. Oh, I forgot you don’t have kids yet. I’m still not a granddaddy.

  3. kdb1411 says:

    Sam, don’t let your Dad give you a hard time. At least you didn’t get bit in your first baptism like he did.

  4. Oh man! I’ve had a close situation regarding the other end (I’ll spare you the details), preaching the shortest sermon of my life and then making a dash for the bathroom. I did manage to turn off my mic though :).

    I hope you are feeling better.

  5. Sam Rainer says:

    Shane – yes, I’m feeling much better. It was a 24-hour bug that just happened to peak at the invitation Sunday morning.

  6. Sam Rainer says:

    kdb1411 – baptizing someone with a severe case of hydrophobia…something was bound to happen. I think Dad still has the scar on his hand from the teeth marks.

  7. Sam Rainer says:

    Dad – Proverbs 19:11

  8. sinister minister says:

    I can certainly identify with Rev. Puke. Once I ate too much fried chicken just before the service. When I began my sermon , My intestinal tract informed me that it was time to go potty. After asfixiating the choir behind me, I preached a 25 minute sermon in less than 8 minutes. The best part of the service was the benediction. Whew!

  9. Tboss says:

    The is the most unholy thing that has ever come out of your mouth on Sunday Morning. But now the demons have been exercised.

  10. Sam Rainer says:

    Tboss – I assure you, it was a real work out…

  11. Josh H. says:

    I’ve never heard of having pains in your side and back and it turn out to be stomach flu…strange. You can get kidney stones at any age if you don’t drink enough water (and sometimes anyway…). Knew a guy in college who got them.

    Those wireless mics can be convenient, but also a curse if they aren’t turned off when not meant to be used…that would have made for interesting radio in FBCMW’s case…

  12. Sam Rainer says:

    Josh H – Ha! Yes, in this case I’m glad we don’t broadcast over the radio.

  13. Chris Ellis says:

    That story is excellent. God Bless you.

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