Thursday, January 22, 2015
It was the night of that big thunderstorm last week. A few of the faithful were gathered around the table in the office at the
of the Redeemed, fixin' to discuss church business. First
Brother Henry Willenbrink heard somebody beating on the office door and he got up to see what was going on. He came back in a minute and asked Sister Wylene Jones if there were any diapers in the church pantry. He said some lady was standing out there in the rain with a baby needing some diapers.
“No,” Sister Wylene said, “and there’s a reason we don’t have any diapers. Diapers come in all sizes.”
Sister Wylene is one of those mean Christians. You know, the kind who knows they are not supposed to sin, but they want to. People like that get all scrunched up and ugly-looking.
Brother Willenbrink didn’t say anything. It never does any good to say anything to Sister Wylene. Brother Willenbrink took a ten out of his billfold and went back out there.
I looked over at Sister Wylene and she had her nose all turned up in the air. I thought about telling her if she was to walk outside in the rain, she might drown. But I didn’t. Then I thought about telling her the day was coming when she was going to be needin’ some diapers. But I didn’t. Then I thought about quotin’ that scripture in Matthew, Chapter 25, where it talks about “the least of these”. But I didn’t. It never does any good to say anything to Sister Wylene.
The church business meeting started, but somebody made a motion to adjourn early because of the storm that was coming. So we did.
Sunday, January 18, 2015
"The She Tree"
There are several pin oak trees in the yard. At precisely the same time each year, they began to drop their leaves. Some seem to eagerly let go, others shed more slowly. But one morning, I will look outside and all the leaves will be gone from the trees. They will still stand proud - naked, but unashamed.
Except one tree. On the north side, between the house and Coop de ville - the “best chicken coop ever!” - the largest tree stands. Ferociously clinging to her leaves. At first I thought the tree was playing a little joke on me because it blocks my view and I cannot fully see the chickens from the house. I have to settle for imagining the fox creeping in from the woods.
But one day I realized the tree stands, fully clothed, all winter, to tell me something about myself.
I have decided the tree is female. She is reminding me of me. Clinging to the things I should be leaving. A survivor. Weathered, and severely proud. Grasping matter-of-fact-like and then clutching greedily, the She Tree refuses to give in to the wind, the rain, the cold, the sleet, the snow, the birds. The wind howls from the South side of the house and roars to the North side, bending and scattering everything in its path. Except the leaves on the She Tree. She haughtily declares, “Brown is my color!”
When Spring comes, I see her as an homeless old woman, busily gathering her tattered rags around her, her head still held high. I see and understand that she could hold on to each piece of rattling crisp parchment forever, if she wanted to.
But she reluctantly embraces the green, the new leaves pushing against the old - the moving on. In her dreams, she wonders if she is wise or just trying to fit in.