Elder: We will be starting prayer service here in about an hour (expecting me to pack up and leave)
Me: My name is Robert Allen. I am Cora Allen’s son and I am here to surprise her; the Pastor knows that I am here. Please don’t let my Mom know that I am here “It’s A Surprise”.
Elder: OK; Robert Allen, and the Pastor knows that you are here
Me: Yes Sir, It’s a surprise
Elder: OK (with a thumbs up)
Me: Sir, what time does service start?
Elder: Prayer starts at 8 o’clock, and service starts at 9 o’clock
Me: Thank You (he then drives off)
As my Mom tells it, this is how it all went down:
My Mom volunteers at the church a few days a week as well as on Sundays, so she too arrives early. She told me that she was speaking to the Elder and asked him if he had seen “that motorhome parked over there”; “they had better get out of here before service starts, can you go over there and see who it is?”
Elder: I went over there, he said his name was Robert Allen, and the Pastor knows that he is here.
Mom: His name is what?
Elder: Robert Allen, and the Pastor gave him permission to be here.
Mom: “ROBERT ALLEN; THAT’S MY SON”
The excitement started and the “cat was out of the bag” (maybe 10 minutes after I said “It’s a surprise”). Mom said that she was trying to “keep her cool” because prayer was starting in the sanctuary. She said that she went in the sanctuary and the Pastor was speaking about how blessed people are; then she hears:
Pastor: “I know Sister Cora is blessed, her son came to surprise her”
Mom said that she got up, turned around to see if she saw me (not knowing if I had come inside yet); when she didn’t see me, she took off running out of the church.
Greeter: Sister Cora, where are you going without your coat? (they are very protective of my Mom)
Mom: “I’M GOING TO FIND MY FAMILY”
Next thing I knew, I hear a “pounding” on our door; then another “pounding”. I opened the curtain to the door, and there she was; out of breath and ecstatic. I unlocked and opened the door to help her up the steps and into our rig. Listening to her tell this story, while in shock and catching her breath was hilarious and exciting at the same time; I couldn’t get her to sit down. The “Surprise” didn’t go off like I had planned, but this was even better, and more memorable.
After a short visit, with hugs and kisses for Adriene and I, Mom ran back into the church and all the way up the pulpit steps as she celebrated. Once Mom left, we picked up our pace so that we could get in the service. When we got inside, the usher escorted us up the aisle; Mom had already reserved us some seats on the second row. We arrived between the services, so we were awaiting the start of the 9 o’clock service.
After a fantastic Praise and Worship Service, the Pastor and his wife acknowledged us a couple of times after the announcements, then he preached a masterpiece on “Patience – The Partner of Faith”. Following service, we greeted the Pastor and First Lady, took a quick photo, and thanked him for allowing us to park in the parking lot overnight. As tradition would have it, we were ready to go and get something to eat; we decided that it was a Golden Corral Day (one of Mom’s favorite spots); we hopped in Mom’s car, and off we went. After “loading up” on some of everything at the buffet, we left a tip and a ministry card, and headed to Mom’s house. We were planning to stay in the coach during our stay in Rocky Mount, but Mom wouldn’t have it. Later in the day, we went back over to the coach to pick up a change of clothes and some overnight things and went back to Mom’s house for the evening …
Mom is off on Monday’s, so we decided to stay until she went back to work … What A Day! …