He came over to my side today and told me he didn't feel well. He asked if I would go get him some clear soda and crackers, while he laid down on the couch in the youth room.
I told him I would. I grabbed my keys, wallet, and phone and hustled to the Safeway across the street.
In the store, I threw things into a basket- items for him and something for myself to eat for lunch. A woman stopped me, "Can I ask you a question?"
Feeling startled out of my train of thought, I said, "Sure."
I get stopped for directions in stores all the time, so this is what I assumed was happening.
"Are you a priest?" she wondered.
Suddenly, I remembered I was wearing my collar.
"I'm a Lutheran pastor," I smiled, surprised that it hadn't occurred to me that she might ask about that.
Her companion said to her, "See- a pastor. Now you know."
They both walked on, leaving me wondering if I should have said anything else.
My realization was this: I had been so concerned about my brother's well-being that I had forgotten what I looked like to other people.
I was so concerned about my brother that I forgot what I was wearing, how I might be perceived, to care what other people thought... because caring for him was primary.
There's something to that.