I been drivin' past that pesky church for years, so I knew exactly where it was, an' I knew what they were all about--well--I guess I THOUGHT I knew what they were all about.
See, I ain't never been there before.
But back down at the local beer joint, my friends laughed at 'em all the time--"The people in that church are nuts!" they'd say.
I'd be half-in-the-bag, laughin' right with 'em. But somethin' in the back of my mind bugged me...I always wondered 'bout some things. I'd think it, but I'd NEVER
let my friends know what I was thinkin'--no way, no how. So, as much as I can recall, this is what was goin' through my head that Friday night:
What's so bad about it? Why's it so bad to be good? I'd rather have a
"goody-2-shoes" be my neighbor than just another drunken-sinner like me or some crazy criminal stalkin' the streets of my town!
As I guzzled another drink, I looked up an' saw the tv goin'--just more bad news about kids shootin' up the schools--an' the latest about some Hollywood good-for-nothin' star kickin' back in Rehab.
I thought, "What a crazy world!" an' "Who Cares?!" an' "Somethin's gotta change..." all at the same time. All this gave me a headache! So I went over an' told my friends that I had to get goin'.
I was "still okay to drive" I told them--or at least I thought so.
Somehow, some way, I got home. It musta been my guardian angel, cuz I don't remember how I got home. I was sittin' in my car in fronta my house, an' I musta passed out.
Tap-tap-tap.... tap-tap-tap. I heard it over an' over again, echoin' in my dreams like that oak branch that hits my bedroom window. That reminds me, I gotta get that thing cut off. Can you remind me later?
Anyways, that tap-tap-tap sound on my driver's side window woke me up.
It was sunny that Saturday mornin'. I still had that nasty headache--ouch. I squinted through the dirty window at who just woke me up--it was a fella in nice clothes, an' he had a big ol' smile.
He startled me, an' I decided to get outta my car. The fella stepped back as I swung the door open.
That was a big mistake--I was still "feelin' it" from the night before. I couldn't walk--an' I started fallin' over like a humungous pine tree in the north woods.
The nice fella caught me, an' he helped me to my feet. He motioned with his head an' asked me if that was my house, an' I slurred it with bad breath, "Yesssir."
He helped me get up a couple of stairs. Then I stopped, turned an' I looked 'im in the eye, an' I asked 'im, "Are you my angel? my Guardian Angel?"
He smiled even bigger an' answered, "No sir. I'm just here to help."
I finally got my key to work in the door, an' he helped me get to my chair.
Then, as he turned to go, I stopped 'im again--
"Hey, wait--do you want some money or somethin'?"
He chuckled, "Oh no, sir. But, I do have something for you --here--" and he handed me a flyer. It was an invite.
"What's this? What's this for?"
"I live right down the street, and I stopped by to invite you to our 'Fellowship by the Fire' tonight."
"Where's it at?" I says back to 'im, lookin' at the paper. "Wait--I know--this is that big church out there on the main road."
"Yes sir! Stop by for some free food and fun!" He says back, an' then he left.
"Yeah, okay, okay..."
I slept for most of the day. I had the strangest dreams. Can't remember them all, but I do remember I kept seein' that fella's smile. When I woke up I still had the flyer on my lap. So I picked it up an' I looked up to heaven, an' I said out loud, "Okay, Big Man. I give up. I'll go an' check it out." Then I added, "Amen."
I got cleaned up an' put on my nicest shirt an' pants. When I got there, I was surprised. The folks were laughin'-- can-you-believe-it!? But it wasn't just that they were happy--it was somethin' more! Somethin' supernatural.
I learnt later: it was joy.
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