I picked Dave up at Historians Bar on South Broadway. We made a left turn which put us smack to the south side of the church I served for nearly 18 years. He said, “That is my favorite church building in Denver”. “Well,” I joyfully said, “I was the Senior Minister there until 2015.” “You are Pastor Pumphrey! This is amazing. About six years ago I would walk by the church almost every day. I read your name on the marquee and adopted you as my imaginary pastor. I can’t wait to tell my buddies. We would talk and I would say ‘I have to run that by Pastor Pumphrey’. You are semi-famous with about 10 guys in Chicago.” “That’s a lot to live up to, Dave” I quipped.
He then began to query me about what it was like to do ministry, what I really believed, and how I ended up driving for Lyft. I don’t know that I have ever felt more special about how I spent 39 years of my life. He said, “You really are my hero. You have counseled me through all sorts of situations. My buddies would say ‘Dave, you better confess that one to Pastor Pumphrey’. We shared in seven minutes of rifting, exchanged information and, I dropped him off at his apartment.
In December I get a random text. “Hey Pastor Pumphrey, just wanted to wish you Merry Christmas”. I smiled. In 39 years of ministry I have wondered what actually helped. My goofy Welsh name on a marquee made a difference. I remember a psychologist friend named Gene, whose kid had an imaginary friend named Slagey. Slagey went everywhere and did all sorts of things with his son. He was a bit concerned when at age seven, Slagey was still a constant part of his conversations. Then one day he noticed he had not heard about Slagey for a week or so. He asked his son where he was and he said, “Last week when I was taking a bath he went down the drain”. He was never heard from again.
Dave gave me a gift that night, but I keep my eye on bath tub drains.
Onward and Upward,