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The Private Times of the Public Minister

A church leader's private life is not second-class time; it's a chance to come apart and rest.

In Walter Trobisch's delightful book, I Married You, there is a record of intense conversation between the author and the wife of Daniel, an African pastor. Walter and Esther are seated at the dining table in her home waiting for Daniel to join them following a Sunday morning service in which Walter has given a talk on marriage. Now they sit before a magnificent dinner prepared by Esther.

But the problem is Daniel. He isn't there. And that fact increasingly irritates Esther, who is aware that her husband is just outside conversing with lingering church members. He seems oblivious that he is ignoring their guest and offending an upset wife who has done her best to provide genuine hospitality.

Unable to ignore the signs of her frustration, Walter says to Esther, "You suffer, and you are embarrassed because of me."

After gaining her composure, Esther responds, "I love Daniel very much, but he is not a man of schedule. I don't mind hard work, but I want to plan my day and have order in my duties. ...

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