Alfred and Mother live in Park Hills on a quiet cul-de-sac where they enjoy the finer things of life. Indeed enjoying the finer things of life is uppermost in their minds. The ways of the Holy Spirit are mysterious and He begins to intrude on their placid lives when the house next door becomes vacant and Alfred begins to record the events in a journal.
Friday, May 31, 2013
Feeling Left Out
Come, Holy Spirit,
With all Thy quick’ning powers;
Kindle a flame of sacred love
In these cold hearts of ours.
I must say that I was
taken completely by surprise. Who would
have thought that there was such sweet concord in the Presence of the Holy
Spirit? Why before this Easter past I had no idea that Christ Jesus could be
personally known, and now this surprise.
On Pentecost Sunday we were singing that old familiar Isaac Watts hymn,
“Come Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove,” to the St. Agnes tune when a sudden
sweetness stole upon me. I was for a few
fleeting moments oddly warmed by the Presence of God. I had not known that such things were
Mother had an entirely
different take on it all, “Why, Alfred,” she said, “If that wasn’t the dullest
service we have ever experienced, and the music was such a bore.”
Now, I know Mother rather
well after all these years together, and I knew that there was something lying
hidden behind her surface assault.
Assault? Well thank goodness that this time her assault wasn’t directed
at me, but at something else. Ever since
my Easter decision for Christ she has been just a little bristly to say the
“Mother,” said I, “What
else is bothering you about the service?
What did you think of the sermon?”
“It wasn’t that, Alfred,” said Mother frowning a
little, “I must confess that I hardly paid attention to that at all. I was just looking out over the congregation
and realized how tacky everyone looked.
You would think that people would exercise at least a modicum of good
taste in dressing for Church.”
A light suddenly dawned on me and I replied, “Why, I
thought the congregation actually looked unusually cheerful.”
“That’s just it, Alfred. Too cheerful! Red!
So many of them were dressed in red!
Red blouses, jackets, ties, and if that wasn’t enough, even red shoes. Everywhere I looked it was red, red, red! I hadn’t realized until after the service
that even you were wearing a dreadful red tie.”
“Mother, I must admit that tie wasn’t one of my
favorites, even though I do enjoy a dash of Tabasco now and then.”
“That’s just it, Alfred. Even you were seized by this appalling spirit
of tackiness. Why couldn’t Father
Goodfellow have suggested white? After
all, white is the color of the dove, and the dove is supposed to be the symbol
of the Holy Spirit? Or even, blue? Blue is the color of water and water is
another symbol of the Holy Spirit. Or
even green for growth? Hunter’s green of
course. I look rather fine in green.”
All of a sudden it
dawned on me. Mother doesn’t think that
she looks her best in red. She says it
just makes her look too Sicilian, which is logical. After all both of her parents are Sicilian,
but far be it from me to remind her. There are times when things are better
I thought for a
moment…no, that’s not quite accurate. I
shot an arrow prayer heavenward and thought for a moment. “Mother,” said I. “You look beautiful in red, rather sultry and
very, very attractive.”
Mother beamed, “Oh
Alfred! Do you think so? Maybe I should
have worn red, it’s just that I have always tried to avoid wearing red, but I
must admit that I was feeling just a little bit left out.”
“He brought me to the banqueting table, and his banner over me
was love” (Song of Songs 2:4).