what you need to do after next Sunday’s sermon
Sunday morning after services, after I fold the blankets from the rocking of the nodding babes, after I put away the last of the gnawed on teething rattles, slip the missionary newsletters from out of our mailslot down at the bottom with all the other V’s and definite Dutch names.
After I wander out past Beryl and Claude Martin standing at the door chatting with the last of the sinners and saints and stragglers, I walk across the gravelled church parking lot, past a dinged up white Ford half-ton pick up, and the used airport shuttle van now chauffeuring a wondrously motley family of twelve. Past the split cedar rail fence with the sumacs and clouds of goldenrods in flaming plume.
To only find the whole lot of them, our half dozen and even their grinning father, all dressed in their Sunday best — and all diving headlong into a pile of of dead, shed leaves, their laughter rattling the dry bones of the leaves right cindered.
And I’m laughing in all this heaving, happy rustling under these trees baring their stretched out naked limbs, when it strikes me that this is the beauty, the life just plain beautiful, rising up out of a heap of burnt days, August’s ashes resurrecting. And who isn’t surprised when the sermon runs straight out of the sanctuary,when the church leaves the building and the gospel finds feet and redemption re-enacts?
And this is exactly what can happen again on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday, Grace rising up from all that’s fallen, raising up the fallen, their laughing ringing loud and long down through the trees.