I am surprising my wife, Lisa, with a rug for Christmas, and since she isn’t a reader of this magazine, I trust my secret is safe with you. We weren’t looking for a rug; it just showed up. Terry, from whom I had purchased a rug in Ephesus a couple of years ago, decided to bring his rugs to America and materialized in my driveway. We invited a few neighbors, who tittered with delight over Terry’s wonders. Now, after my friends dropped thousands of dollars on rugs they weren’t looking for, he likes me even more. Lisa looked disappointed when I didn’t buy, so I sneaked Terry a check and squirreled the rug away with my neighbor until Santa can pick it up after my midnight Christmas Eve service.
James C. Howell is senior minister of Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and author of What Does the Lord Require? Doing Justice, Loving Kindness, Walking Humbly (Westminster John Knox).