Mornin’ Reverend

Mornin’ Reverend.

“Mornin’, Reverend,” Old Deacon Joe said, offering an adjacent rocking chair.

“Morning, Deacon,” Reverend answered politely, “Beautiful morning to sit and watch the world go by, ain’t it?”

“Sure ‘nuff,” Deacon replied, rocking gently.

They rocked and listened to the birds singing for a while. Somewhere, a woodpecker was rat-a-tat-tatting. The light breeze slapped a shutter against the house and a distant screen-door slammed. A yellow cat basked in the warm sun on the porch. Reverend’s head began to nod, bobbing with the steady rise and fall of his chest; his eyes closed.

“Look-ee there, Reverend. There go the Smiths, all dressed up proper, like they was goin’ to church,” Deacon said.

Reverend’s head nodded silently.

“Wonder where they’re goin’?” Deacon asked no one in particular. “Now they sure are a funny family,” he continued, “Why, Ole Myrtle Hayes, you know her—she hears them Smiths havin’ devotions together every day, singin’ and everythin’. She ought to know, I reckon. She lives right next door to ‘em. Why, to hear her talk, they’re downright good, upstandin’, religious folks. Reckon you like to hear that, ‘eh, Reverend?”

Reverend nodded again, eyes closed.

Deacon sat silently, watching a sparrow taking a dust bath. The sparrow startled and flew away as a young boy walked by on the sidewalk.

“Morning, sirs,” he called to the porch.

Deacon didn’t answer. He nodded as his head bobbed on his chest. The boy walked on. Dressed in a white shirt, slacks, and shoes; singing a Sunday-school song. The shutter slammed again.

Deacon opened his eyes and saw the boy walking away.

“White shirt, slacks, and shoes?” he asked himself drowsily. “That youngster’s got shoes on! Sure looks dressed up this morning.”

The warm sun weighed heavily on his eyelids and, nodding, he began to snore. People began to go past the porch, gradually increasing in number, all in a hurry, and then the street was again empty. From somewhere the sound of singing floated on the breeze as the sun crept slowly across the porch.  The cat stretched, curling his tongue around a yawn, and laid his head on his paws, looking at the two sleeping men. His eyes closed and he listened to the music. He opened his eyes at a sudden change in the tempo and got up, stretched again and went to find out where the music was coming from. He marched across the lawn, tail proudly waiving at the sky, and started down the sidewalk in the same direction the little boy had taken.  Presently he came to a tall building, where the singing was coming from, and he looked in the open door. People were sitting in rows, singing and seeming to be waiting for something…someone. He curled up in the sun and went to sleep.

The shadows began to lengthen and finally the people began to leave. The cat woke up and moved toward his own porch.

“Wonder where Reverend was today?” he heard one man say.

“Probably had an emergency. “ a woman answered.

Others were saying, “Nice service today.” ”Beautiful day, wasn’t it?” “Nice day for church,” as they dispersed and went toward their homes.

The sun drifted toward the west, casting the porch into shadow. The temperature cooled.

Deacon stirred, looked up at the sky, and decided he was hungry.

“Well, Reverend,” he said, “Evenin’s here. Recon I’ll go in and get a bite. You hungry?”

Reverend nodded on his chest.

Deacon got up and went into the house, letting the screen-door slam, causing Reverend to jump. Reverend opened his eyes and saw a little boy walking down the sidewalk, shoes dangling by their laces over his shoulder, head hanging dejectedly.

“Tired, son?” Reverend asked.

“No, sir,” the boy said, looking up, eyes brimming with tears.

“Why, you’re sad,” Reverend said, “Now what would a young feller like you be sad for on a pretty Saturday evening like this?”

“T’ain’t Saturday, sir. This is Sunday.”

Posted November 30, 2012 by Don Gardner in Christian, Copywrited, The Church

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