“They were in pre-marital counseling,” said Irene, the church secretary, 40, short, chubby and talkative. Her main sin was gossip. “And he ran off with his counselee’s wife, a pretty redhead half his age.”
“Your pastor ran off with the bride-to-be?” asked Agnes, 61, her graying hair in a bun that topped her head. Her wrinkles crinkled even more as she scrunched her face to express disdain. “That is just awful.”
“Pastor Ray’s wife, Peggy, was devastated. Emotional distress was her quick sand for months.”
“Tell me more.”
“All of the people around these parts adored Pastor Ray. They were quick to forgive him. Even though he resigned in disgrace, he never moved elsewhere. Later, his young mistress dumped him, reconciling with the man she jilted.”
“He took her back?”
“Like a fool, he did.” She scooted closer. “We need to talk softer. We can’t afford to let my new pastor hear this. He hates gossip about Pastor Ray.”
“What did Ray do after his mistress left him?” asked Agnes, refusing to let the tale die.
“He worked odd jobs until he decided it was time to pastor again,” said Irene.
“Did he return to the church?” asked Agnes. She leaned closer to hear Irene.
“No. He started his own.”
“I never…” said Agnes, placing her right hand over her open mouth.
“A friend of mine joined his congregation,” said Irene. “They met in a funeral home chapel. Believe it or not, the church grew fast.”
“Did he ever repent for what he had done?”
“Nobody ever heard of him repenting. He acted like he had not spilled a thing.”
“Did anyone ever ask him why he thought he could just come back and start a church after he had nearly destroyed yours?”
“My friend, a member of his new church, said he gave an explanation.”
“What did he say?” asked Agnes, now sitting on the edge of her seat.
“He told his new congregation, ‘There are times that we do things without much thought. We cannot change what we did. We are not able to undo what we have done. When it happens, we move on. We break a glass and pick up the pieces. We bump a glass and milk pours across the table. Clean it up. Don’t get all distressed and start bawling. Wipe it up and keep living. That is what I am doing. Move forward with me.’ ”
“That does not sound like he repented or even apologized,” said Agnes.
“His new congregation adored him,” said Irene. “He was loveable. Everybody quickly let him off the hook.”
“But he did not repent,” continued Agnes, “and he was their pastor.”
“Not for long,” said Irene. “Good looks, charm and personality can only take a soul so far.”
“What do you mean?”
“Ray had a need for speed. He loved fast cars, boats, airplanes and motorcycles. One day he took his motorcycle for a spin on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was his last ride.”
“It was bizarre, a mystifying incident that troubles us to this day.”
“Three couples were returning from a marriage retreat in our church van. Bill Williams drove. It was the first time Bill had driven back to the church via the parkway.”
“Hurry up. The suspense is killing me.”
“Ray rounded the curve twenty miles per hour too fast. He raced head on toward the van, while in the wrong lane. He negotiated a quick turn into the correct lane when he noticed something in the van. He lost control. Both wheels left the asphalt and running up a grassy bank. The motorcycle flipped and rolled across the highway, down a bank into the woods.”
“Did he die?”
“Instantly. He slammed into a tree.”
“What caused him to wreck?”
“The driver thinks he spotted the couple, looked back and lost control of the motorcycle.”
“Which couple? His ex-mistress and the man she had jilted for Ray?”
“Ray died and I doubt he ever repented.”
“Did he not fear God?”
“Only heaven knows.”
“Ray should have repented,” said Agnes. “When you spill something, you need to say, ‘I spilled it. I am sorry.’ You do not have to get all blubbery. Admit that you did it. Admit it and ask forgiveness. Say, “I knocked over the glass. Please forgive me. Will you help me clean it up?’ After that, keep living a joyful life.”
“You have some preacher in you, Agnes.”
“Guess I do.”
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.