The Puking Preacher
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.