“…And you shall know them, by their fruits!” the pastor’s voice thundered through the public address system.
“you’ve often heard it said when life gives you lemons…..mmmm, mmmm, mmmm”
He sang, rocking side to side.
“Make lemonade…. But I would submit to you that making lemonade means you’re bitter! You make people pucker! You are sour! what am I saying here….?”
He slammed his handkerchief to the pulpit then quickly picked it up again to wipe his brow.
“I’m suggesting that what comes out of a person is quite simply what’s in a person; if you are a lemon and you get squeezed….uh huh! Then maybe, just maybe…” he said hunching his shoulders and raising one eyebrow, he paused for dramatic effect
“You’re bitter!” his voice roared through the microphone.
“Maybe, just maybe you’re sour… don’t misunderstand me, I know life can be hard it can make anyone without God, want to give up!
Two brothers on sound system high five’d one another smiling; the audience began to stand to their feet. He continued
“Life can be cruel!”
He sang in a little higher note
“Life can be tough!
He moaned. All the senior ladies on the front row nodded their flowered hats in agreement.
“But! Life requires something. Life requires that we forgive. Let go of what he did to you” He said holding his handkerchief clad hand over his ear.
“Let go of what she told somebody about you”
He screamed in an ear canal piercing tone
“Let go of all the things that haven’t happened just the way you would want them to, when you got to make lemonade”
He said breathing heavily.
“You have to add an ingredient, you have to add sugar, I’ve never been served a cold glass of 100% lemon juice” he puckered his lips, pretending to drink it.
“That means good lemonade has been diluted, with both water and sugar to make it taste right”
he said his voice now rasping from exhaustion
“It’s fake, it’s not real….. Why can’t you just be sweet?”
He asked wiping his sweaty brow again
“We have a father” he said lowering his tone, and wiping his mouth
“who can help you with that, he can help us with that” he said looking at the other ministers on the pulpit.
“why can’t you be like a ripe and juicy apple, orange or even a strawberry?”
His hand was extended as though holding a piece of fruit, he turned it to survey it’s goodness.
“…it requires no sugar added. All that is required is to wash them under the tap and bite into them to enjoy their sweetness”
He popped the imaginary fruit into his mouth; looked out into the audience and rubbed his stomach as though he had eaten something that was really good: he flashed a toothy grin.
Maggie sat with tears rolling down her cheeks, on the edge of her seat.
The pastor’s voice continued now sounding worn
“You shall know them by their fruit….don’t you want to be known by love?”
he asked holding out one hand wiping his brow again with the other. The choir began to sing softly.
Maggie was ready to forgive, ready for sweetness. She stood and walked to the altar bowed quickly to her knees and whispered
“Father please come into my heart”
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