Church Hurts: Chapter 7 – “Prophetess”

Chapter 7 – The Prophetess

Judd and Pastor Sal walked out of the door of the banquet room where the church growth seminar had been held. In the hallway, they greeted and shook hands with many of their pastor buddies from the various churches and denominations that had been invited. Sal was somewhat relieved to know that it wasn’t just Deliverance Church that had been needing professional help with membership and finances. For a pastor, the two went hand in hand. When your membership was low, so was your money. When your membership was high, bills got paid. As Sal and Judd greeted their last pastor friend, they went down the concrete steps to head home. They had received a lot of helpful information that needed to be put into practice. And soon.

As Sal jogs over to say hello to one more pastor, Judd keeps heading towards the car. He was stopped by a older lady who was standing off by herself on the sidewalk.

“Hey, Pastor Judd. I thought you’d be here,” said the oddly dressed woman. Judd – somewhat taken aback – asked, “Excuse me, but do I know you? Being a pastor we have so many visitors it’s hard to remember all of their faces.” She replied, “Oh, you know me. If you don’t know me personally, I’m sure one of your friends in there can tell you who I am. They call me “The Pastor’s Prophetess”. But you can call me Prophetess.” “Okay, Prophetess. Can I help you with anything?” “I’m not here to ask for help, I’m here to help you,” she replied. “Help me?” Pastor Judd had a puzzled look on his face. This woman seemed like she needed more of his help than anything. “So what is it that you think I need help with?” He was getting a little annoyed with her forwardness. “Well, it’s apparent your church needs some help. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here at this seminar. What is it? Membership dwindling? More bills than offerings?” “Ma’am, with all due respect, that’s none of your business,” Judd said sternly. “I wasn’t trying to offend. It’s just that God told me He wanted me to meet a man named Judd here at nine o’ clock tonight. They don’t call me prophetess for nothing.” She smiled at him in a peculiar, knowing way.

Just as she was finishing her sentence, Sal walked up to him. “Hey, Judd. Sorry to keep you waiting. I had to catch up with Pastor Morris. I hadn’t seen him in years. He says his youngest baby girl is graduating from college. Time flies!” “Let’s get something to eat. I’m starving. That seminar went on WAY too long.” As Sal got into the passenger seat, Judd reached for the driver seat door knob. The old lady put her hand in Judd’s right hand. Something poked his skin. He looked down into his palm. In it was a business card. In very small print it read:

Prophetess
The Pastor’s Prophetess
Anointed for such a time as this!
901-444-5987

She really did refer to herself as the pastor’s prophetess. Kind of cocky. He looked up to tell her thanks but no thanks, but when he looked up, she had already disappeared into the cool night air.

***

Judd sat in his office chair the next day flipping the card around with his fingers. He wondered if he should call her. Hadn’t she said that it was God who told her she’d meet him there? She even knew his name. After debating within himself, he picked up his iPhone and dialed the number. The phone rang several times. Judd decided to hang up. While he brought the phone down to press the button to end the call, he heard a faint voice coming from the phone. He slowly brought the phone back up to his ear. “Hello, Judd. I thought you’d be calling,” said the lady in her annoyingly calm voice. “How did you know it was me?” “God told me you’d be calling around this time. I am a prophetess you know.” Judd could imagine her smiling smugly on the other end. “Well you told me you could help me. And I’ll be honest with you, looking over our budget, we’re spending much more than we’re getting in. If God has told you anything that can help us with that, I’m all ears. We’re at the end of our rope at this point. At the rate we’re going, we won’t be able to keep the doors of the church open much longer.”

“And we both know you don’t want that.” “Well, of course not. No pastor wants to have to shut down his ministry.” “Yes. Especially a pastor who has his eyes set on loftier ventures. You desire to be a bishop, don’t you? A jurisdictional bishop?” He was shocked. How did you know that? I’ve never told anyone that.” “I told you I’m a proph…” Judd cut her off, “Yeah, I know you’re a prophetess.” “And you’re not telling the truth about not telling anyone about your dreams of being a bishop. There is someone you’ve told. And that same person is also the same reason some bills are hardly getting paid. You like to spoil this particular person, and you also like nice things for yourself also.” Judd froze. Did she know about Nick? Had God told her about Nick? Nick had warned him that God gives chances to repent before exposure. “And who is that?” Judd finally managed to ask a few moments. “Let’s just say a significant other. Don’t worry. I’m not interested in your love life. I have a few secrets of my own. I’m not here to judge. I’m just here to help.” “For how much, Prophetess?” Judd figured he had better get and stay on her good side if she knew of his secret life. He knew she’d like to be referred to as Prophetess. Her felt her smiling again on the other end of the phone. “Well, Pastor Judd. My services are of no monetary cost to you. It won’t cost you a dime. But I will need a favor. It’ll be a mutually beneficial arrangement. There are some things that are far better than money. So when can we meet up to chat?”