Friday, May 31, 2013

Feeling Left Out

Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove,
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 possible.

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 least.

“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 left unsaid.

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).

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