Sunday, September 2, 2012

Peppermint Parables: A Tribute to Bishop Jerry & Sis. Sandra Dillon

                Today on my way out of morning service, I watched my pastor Jerry Dillon speaking to two young boys, probably around 11-12.  They shook his hand, answered his questions, and looked at him expectantly.  And then he did what they were expecting…he winked and said, “I’ll go unlock my office in just a minute.  Lots of good stuff waiting in there.”  The expression on their faces changed.  One young man jumped in the air, while the other executed a pitch-perfect fist-pump and said, “YES!”

            It’s just peppermints and jelly beans – not something that boys would normally get that excited about.  I should know.  I’ve been the recipient of a peppermint every time I have seen Bro. Dillon during the past 35 years.  Camp meeting, conferences, Sunday evening services, random encounters at a restaurant, at a friend’s wedding…it doesn’t matter.    Whenever he gives me a hug and reaches out to shake my hand, it isn’t really a handshake; it’s a sacred rite: the passage of the peppermint.  Understand, though, that it is about MUCH more than peppermints. 

            There is a lesson I learned from the age of 2 – a lesson that those boys are learning as well – about love, consistency, and the heart in tune with that of Christ.  When I was a toddler, I KNEW there was a peppermint waiting in his office.  When I was a teenager, I KNEW that answers to my (MANY) questions were waiting in that office, along with my peppermint.  When I was a twenty-one year old woman grieving the loss of her father, I KNEW that compassion was waiting, keeping my peppermint company.  When I was at the end of my rope and had no idea what move should come next, I KNEW that wisdom was waiting, and a peppermint too. 

            Those little boys are learning.  So are my children.  Bishop Jerry Dillon uses those peppermints as beacons, and they send out a message to every person he has ever encountered:  You will never get beyond God’s love…or mine and Sis. Dillon’s.  You will never be without a home…you are welcome here, no matter what.  My door is ALWAYS open, and wisdom is waiting, along with a peppermint.   YOU matter to me.  YOU are important.  YOU are worth my time. 

I love you, Bro. and Sis. Dillon, and I owe you more than I can every repay. 


Marsha said...

They are two of the kindest, most genuine people I've ever known. Beautiful tribute to them. Loved this. Thanks for sharing.

Wanda Marshall said...

Perfect tribute to such a wonderful couple!! I love the Dillons!!!

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Heather said...

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