Sometimes Churchyard Chick, in her zig-zag ramblings, “hears things.” Sometimes it shocks her; sometimes it puzzles her; always it interests her. She considers it her duty to pass along her findings to you, the faithful readers of her peckings. Therefore, she offers the following even as she finds it necessary to claim this traditional disclaimer:
“The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. It may or not be based on actual events. It may or not be grounded in reality. It may or not be the rantings of a disgruntled, embittered, “sour grapes” sort of individual. It may or not be interpreted as the sarcastic albeit therapeutic result of feeling betrayed by one’s “church” and the leaders thereof (mostly the leaders thereof and not the other congregants, for the most part). ”
That being said by Churchyard Chick (now Free Range) and hopefully ingested and digested by you, Gentle Reader, please continue at your own risk of being offended.
The following was overheard by the aforesaid Churchyard Chick as she was chuckling about last week under the bridge in the downtown area (dangerous territory for a chick but CC has become somewhat more adventurous of late):
“Good afternoon, precious ones, you who are the unfortunate ones trying to keep body and soul together here under this bridge. I am Reverend Frank N. Stein, pastor — senior pastor — of First Church of Gracious Mercy on Happy Valley Avenue here in Small Stone, Arkansas.”
“I want to make you aware of our new ministry which hopefully will not only feed your hungry bodies but also your hungry souls. Our good people at Gracious Mercy want you to know that they care about you, so once a week we will provide a meal for you, and we will be praying for you that you will be able to find enough food to keep you going the other six days of the week.”
“It is our mission to provide hope to those of you who, during these hard times, have lost your job and have become numbered among the destitute homeless who seek shelter under this bridge. I want to bring you the message that if you have been bruised and broken by the world, if you have been hurt by uncaring folks, if you have been mistreated by those you trusted, we the people of Gracious Mercy are here for you. We . . . .”
“Brother Frank . . . .”
“Yes, my sad pitiful brother, what can I do for you?”
“Reverend Stein, don’t you recognize me?”
“You do look vaguely familiar, but I can’t quite place you. Do I know you, my son? I don’t believe I am acquainted with anyone quite as scruffy and unkempt as you. Oh wait . . . do you caddy?”
“You don’t remember me? I guess I have changed a bit. I was your worship leader at Gracious Mercy. You fired me six months ago. If you look over there, by the campfire, you’ll see the custodian, and beyond him, sitting with her children under the blanket, is the secretary, and . . . .”
“Uh . . . uh . . . Okay, everyone, it’s almost time for us to part company with you until we meet again next week. Time for a hymn. Let us all sing “Rescue the Perishing, Care for the Dying.”
MORE . . .
Water Under the Bridge
Sometimes water that we think has long since passed under the bridge backs up. When this happens, “it ain’t pretty.”
When it returns, it is carrying not only the debris that was present when it originally flowed under but also stuff it has picked up down the way . . . such as items that have been tabled or shelved or closeted or swept under the rug. Those things always surface when the water comes back.
The backwash can sometimes be caused by those dam beavers downstream. They are constantly causing trouble by piling up sticks and stones and slinging mud on top of them. Most of the time, the water can seep through, but when storm clouds gather and hard rain pours down, the Nitty Gritty River begins to flood.
As the dirty water swirls around the bridge pilings, it mixes with the current stream and begins to rise to a dangerous level. If it covers the bridge, the residents on either side must wait until it subsides before attempting to cross. They must wait and see whether the bridge is still standing or whether it has collapsed.
Sometimes, in fact, the flood can be so overwhelming that the integrity of the bridge has been compromised and it has become too dangerous. It is at this point that the residents on both sides must decide whether it is in their best interest to simply take another route or whether it is worth the effort to dynamite the old bridge and then construct a new, stronger one. Both parties must agree because each must build half, meeting in the middle.
And they have to eliminate those dam beavers.