Blessings 4 $ale
By Pat Backora
Pastor Mick was full of slick tricks
He sold souls “a word from the Lord”
So long as their gift was nice and big
A blessing would be outpoured.
To those who boldly step out in faith
And sow a seed of two grand
I’ll anoint your heads with oil and pray
For a miracle from God’s Hand.
Stand up and show holy boldness
Don’t waste God’s money on bills
Overcome fear and coldness
You’ll see that God’s power is real.
Who’ll be first to test God’s Word
And put some feet to your faith?
Give to God’s work until it hurts
My anointing is mighty to pray.
There’s a holy hush of expectation
Sister Sue, praise God for you
Be expecting a visitation
You’re one of God’s chosen few.
All your walls are broken down
You’ll cross to the other side
Heaven’s blessings will super-abound
No desire will be denied.
The riches of Abraham
Will fill your basket and store
You’ll get the best in the Promised Land
You’ll nevermore be poor.
Forget about your gas and rent
God says your bills are covered
I see a miracle heaven-sent
Fresh funds you’ll soon discover.
Sue had no debit or credit card
But she wrote a check on the spot
The preacher promised a big reward
Would fall from the Hand of God.
Bless Sue, dear Lord, for her precious gift
As this oil wets her head
She walks on water like Peter did
Her check will bring her Your best.
Pastor Mick found three or four more
Who purchased a prophecy
People who longed to quit being poor
And live in prosperity.
Others made a vow right now
To make a standing donation
Their credit card numbers were written down
As they stood to get revelations.
Those who pledged five thousand or more
Were part of God’s Honor Guard
Those who gave ten thousand or more
Received the Golden Award.
A precious medallion of tacky brass
An heirloom for families to treasure
A tribute to sheep conned out of their cash
Wasted on preachers’ pleasures.
Music played and people prayed
Swept on a tide of emotion
People swayed and hands were raised
As donations proved devotion.
Few had the faith to forfeit their rent
Sue’s heartbeat was very quick
If her excitement was heaven-sent
Why did her stomach feel sick?
Sue’s face did fall when her landlord called
Why was her rent money late?
Sue did her best the landlord to stall
So she could avoid a bad fate.
Sue told the landlord to count it all joy
His rent went to buy better pews
That grumpy grouch got so annoyed
He gave Sue some not-so-nice news.
Heaven can wait, he let Sue know
And with that he tore up her lease
He’d far rather shovel coal down below
Than do a compassionate deed.
Destitute Sue returned to her church
But where did the pastor go?
Judy, who handled his paperwork
Could reach him on the phone.
Don’t get your hopes up, Judy said
Pastor’s in a bad mood
If you want help you’re wasting your breath
But my heart goes out to you.
I work for him but my heart is grieved
You aren’t the first to complain
Too many desperate people believed
That giving would bring earthly gain.
Calm down, Sue, I’ll dial the phone
We’ll see what Pastor can do
Don’t despair, you aren’t all alone
I’m right here praying for you.
Sue stood by as Judy dialed
The pastor’s private number
Deathly quiet and no one smiled
What’s up? The pastor wondered.
Judy said the matter was urgent
A sister was very distraught
She said the woman was burdened
By fallout from what he had taught.
Pastor Mick, remember me?
Sister Sue started to weep.
I gave to you abundantly
But now I’m out on the street.
I thought you said you gave to GOD
A steely voice coldly replied
It’s not MY debt, God owes you a lot
Your plight’s no concern of mine.
But why, Sue sobbed, didn’t it work?
What happened to my seed?
I did my best to put God first
So why won’t He meet my need?
Sister Sue, the pastor said
Seeds need time to grow
You’re going through a patience test
You’re tying up my phone!
Wait, Pastor Mick, I have no home
I’ve got nowhere to sleep
I went to the pawn shop but can’t get a loan
And now there’s no hope for me.
Go crash at some homeless shelter
The pastor sounded irked
I’m not a free bank teller
Go find some extra work.
Some preacher said tithes fed the poor
In ancient Israel, Sue pleaded
The tithing barns stored barley and corn
To give people food they needed.
Sister Sue, that’s done away
The pastor said with a laugh
Saints should pay even more under Grace
Today all God wants is cash.
If you need to eat there’s a fine food bank
At Twenty-Seventh and Maple
You really should give joyful thanks
That they hand out free food staples.
Pastor, where is your mercy?
You’re turning your back on me!
Don’t you care that I’m hurting?
Was all you wanted my money?
Sink or swim, it’s all up to you
The pastor said with scorn
Before we conclude I’ll share a preview
Of a vision I got from the Lord.
I’ll share just a bit, you’ll hear the rest
At next Sunday’s morning service
Be sure to come and you’ll get blessed
You’ll be so happy you heard it.
Sue asked him what was the vision
He meant to share with the church
Was it Christ’s kind of religion
His love and compassion at work?
Pastor Mick choked and cleared his throat
She heard him sigh on the line
I really should go but first I’ll show
The vision that changed my life.
Next week I’ll lay it on the line
Non-tithers will be ostracized
Cut off from cliques and all church life
Only tithers will be baptized.
Those who are poor should give like the rest
Non-tithers won’t get prayed for
If you love Jesus you’ll bring your best
And look for ways to pay more.
Please, Pastor, you’ve got to help me
I’m hungry with nowhere to go
You taught us to give sacrificially
A good example you should show.
You pay me to lead so you can follow
The pastor snorted in contempt
My spiritual blessings I’ll share tomorrow
I refuse to feel condemned.
Where will I go? Sue cried in despair
I’m all alone in this city
My spiritual family doesn’t care
Except for Judy, who’s praying for me
And unlike you, she prays for free.
Judy sat there crying
As she overheard Sue’s words
Within her a light was shining
The Truth within her heart burned.
Quietly she passed Sue a note
As Pastor Mick preached on the phone
He told Sue the Lord would keep her afloat
If she’d trust in Him alone.
Swindled Sue had nothing to lose
That she hadn’t lost already
A mild rebuke was long overdue
Her voice was hot but steady.
You don’t care when we hurt and bleed
You pass to the other side
You harden your heart against our need
You’re dead to Jesus’ life.
You pass the buck, so what “God” gets
He’ll pay back the folks in the pew
Ain’t none of your business, it’s His debt
Though we handed His money to you.
You’re just a phony Pharisee
Devouring widows’ purses
God will somehow meet my need
Though you’ve threatened us with curses.
Malachi has made you rich
Malachi has made me cry
Because of the way you’ve twisted it
To tax us with the tithe.
Your bald-faced lies have broken me
I appeal to My Redeemer
God will help me get back on my feet
Judy’s asked me to stay with her.
I don’t see Christ in you, Pastor Mick
He’s one Friend you cannot spend
You shady charlatans make God sick
You’ll answer to Him for this sin.
You blackmail us with threats of hell
You worship the almighty dollar
What do you have to say for yourself
You hypocrite and robber?
Sister, it isn’t me you should blame
You’re poor and I don’t know why
Maybe your check bounced in my bank
So your blessing bounced back up to the sky.
* * * * *
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