Our Harvest Open Day had some memorable moments. I particularly remember one. A short beautifully coiffured lady swept in accompanied by a man who looked like a bodyguard, and turned out to be one. She asked me if I was the pastor and when I admitted I was her composure crumbled. She asked me if I could spare a few moments and in the side vestry we shared in one of those experiences which surprise on the main street.
She was a famous country-and-western singer on tour in Britain who was performing that night in Cambridge. But on this particular Saturday she felt at such a low ebb physically and spiritually she said that she needed to talk to someone. As a Christian she felt utterly dry and exhausted. 'Would you mind praying for me, pastor?' she asked. You can imagine my joy at being able to pray that this needy lady receive some gentle assurance of Christ's love and peace coupled with his promise of strength in the Holy Spirit. Apparently, in the exhausting itinerary of travel, rehearsals and concerts she had longed for somewhere to be quiet. 'We only had a few minutes spare today,' she said, 'thank you for being there'.
Obviously, I have held back her name for confidential reasons. Later I purchased one of her records and met her eyes on the record sleeve with a jolt of happy remembrance. Returning to the US she sent me a letter including the line 'It was so refreshing to have some Christian fellowship.' Being willing to open the church proved to be the right place at the right time for her and others. What a thrill to be useful for the Lord.