It was a merciful Monday.
The phone didn’t ring, no one visited and Meningsbee had a chance to sit alone in the parsonage and muse the happenings in his life.
He kept thinking about that scripture: “God sees the sparrow and we are worth many sparrows.”
He roamed the house talking to himself, allowing the ideas stuck in his head to gain air instead of suffocating in his brain or struggling for dominance.
He sorted through things. He opened the door for some healing.
After the cleansing Monday, he was ready for a terrific Tuesday.
Phone calls came from congregation members, saying how much the service had meant to them and how freeing it was to realize that it’s all right to have doubts–as long as you don’t lie about them or assume they are true.
But then came worrisome Wednesday. It began with a knock on the door. Patrick Swanson was there, accusing Meningsbee of sharing their private conversation about the finances of the church with his new congregation out at the Holiday Inn Express.
Meningsbee was so glad that he had remained faithful to his mute position. He could honestly say that he had said nothing to anyone.
Patrick did not believe him. He explained that he had a mess on his hands, because somehow or another, the church folk had discovered his feelings about the old church and were not very appreciative of his plans.
Meningsbee listened quietly but didn’t respond. It wasn’t his business.
At length, Patrick gave up and turned to walk away, only pausing to say, “Word has it that you don’t even believe in God. Is that right?”
It seemed that this dear brother wanted a fight. But thanks to merciful Monday and terrific Tuesday, Meningsbee was more prepared for worrisome Wednesday.
He replied, “My dear friend, my beliefs are a matter of public record.”
With this, Meningsbee quietly shut the door and resumed his life.
The rest of the week was blessed with happenings and intervals of joyous nothingness. That is, until Sunday morning arrived.
Meningsbee was excited–because last Sunday, he had handed out little notes to twenty-two members of the congregation. When they peered at him, wondering what it was all about, he had replied, “Read the note. It’ll tell you what to do.”
So he quickly dressed, ate a light breakfast and headed out the door, pausing as he gazed at the porch swing.
And there she was–the young girl he had met at the motel in South Dakota, cuddled up on the swing with her little daughter, sound asleep.
“Kitty?” he said quietly, hoping he had remembered her name correctly. She woke up, rubbed the sleep from her eyes, eased her feet to the ground, and launched into her story.
She had lost her job and therefore could not afford the motel anymore. She got his address from the front desk clerk, and since he was the only person who had been nice to her, she grabbed her daughter, Hapsy, and hitch-hiked to Garsonville.
She didn’t know what to do, so she chased the last place that she felt love.
Likewise, Meningsbee didn’t know what to do.
He explained that he was on his way to church and invited her. She replied, “If they don’t mind my old, stinky jeans…”
Meningsbee laughed. “I think they’re just old.”
They headed off to his car. Meningsbee held the door and welcomed the two of them inside. He picked up a couple of treats at the Donut Barn on the way.
As they munched, he wondered to himself whether this was a gift from God … or a mis-delivered package.