This morning I woke up and said to my hubby “Happy Tax Day!” of course he looked at me and said “what?!”

I shared with him the happy memory that I have associated with April 15th. The dreaded day of payment is a memory of gratitude and joy for me.

Because of this man

IMG_4673

This is Larry, he is our tax accountant. We were first introduced to Larry 9 years ago by a friend. At that time we had entered into a partnership with two other couples in a real estate development company and we needed some wisdom on how to handle our personal and business tax liabilities. He had been a pastor and now was a tax accountant and a partner at his firm as well as a financial planner. Every year we would check in with Larry around January and he would share with us wisdom. About 6 years ago my husband made his regular appointment with Larry but his heart was beyond heavy. The real estate development business was tanking, the partners were no longer involved and we were left with $80,000 in debt, several business projects were incomplete and bills that had to be paid. We were struggling to maintain our integrity in relationships  with those who were our previous partners as we had many relational connections and would see them on a regular basis. Personally our finances were ravaged and we were teetering between solvency, bankruptcy and losing our home. Willy and I were both working full time jobs and were also struggling to keep it together because we were also going through some very personally challenging times in ministry as we were also youth pastors.

Yes…….it was a very painful and lonely time….

Some would say why didn’t you say anything, well there were times that we did with people , but the truth is sometimes people just don’t listen. They tune their ear for a moment and pretend that they heard you but they do not truly listen.  We were also caught between judgement……. shame…….. embarrassment…… fear and not wanting to gossip. We felt trapped between our Christian integrity and the reality of our circumstance.

With a very heavy heart my husband made his appointment with Larry that year like he did every year. He sat down with Larry and spilled everything, the failed business, the possible bankruptcy, asked him if we should let our house go.

Larry did what others did not do.

he listened 

No judgement, no “you should haves”, no “why didn’t you?”In that moment he pastored my husband. He shared a time when he was in a desperate situation and how God had helped him. He encouraged him, he told my husband that he would be prosperous and he prayed for him.

 In that office as Larry obeyed the Holy Spirit to encourage my husband they entered into the sacred. The occupation that Larry held did not matter….he was a pastor to my husband. A moment in time that infused my husband with courage.

I remember when he came home that day he was different. He had hope. A weight had been temporarily lifted and he was able to see things with fresh vision. No, it did not solve everything and the next couple of years we sought God and gathered wisdom to untangled the huge mess that we had found ourselves in.

If you are in a job that you seem to think is mundane I would urge you to think of Larry. How in that hour his ministry to my husband gave him hope. To God no occupation is mundane, housewife, caregiver, mom, construction worker, electrician, truck driver, insurance agent, nurse, garbage collector, mail carrier. Whatever you are doing in your life at this season…

coworkersdesktop

These are all opportunities to turn the  secular into the sacred. 

So today,  April 15th is Happy Tax Day to me…

and it always will be……

Happy because of a tax man who obeyed God’s voice 

dispensed wisdom

pastored us

and gave us hope.