The wind was blowing from the north, putting a cold chill down my collar.
“Excuse me sir, I want to get closer.” An older lady pushed past me, not waiting for my reply.
“Uh,” my thought was lost, she was muscling through the crowd. We had gathered to listen to Senator Blow Hard, or whatever his name was. How soon we forget the folks who often run for office. I leaned in as the wind was covering his voice.
He seemed to yell into the microphone. “There’s only two things in the middle of the road.” He paused watching the audience. “Yellow lines and dead skunks.”
The audience laughed politely.
Of course he was referring to politicians. But, as I stood there watching his fist pound the podium my mind started to wander. “Middle of the road,” I thought I whispered.
A man standing in front of me turned around. “Yeah, yellow bellied politicians.”
Somewhere in the audience a scuffle broke out. The Senator made some sound and police and security guards danced through the crowd; and then, after a few minutes, Senator Blow Hard retook the podium. “Radicals and dissidents are changing the landscape.”
I barely heard his voice; my attention had wandered to a small café. Customers seemed relaxed watching the silliness in the street. I worked my way through the standing crowd and opened the door of the restaurant.
“Hey, welcome.” A waitress near the cash register smiled at me.
“Oh, hey. Getting away from the madness and the wind for a bit. Can I get a hot chocolate here?”
I settled onto a stool at the counter. The little café was busier than I expected, people were coming and going.
I eyed a Danish under glass container, but it looked a little stale.
“So, you interested in the rally?” The waitress wiped a crumb off of the counter and set a steaming hot chocolate in front of me.
“Passing. I was hoping he would say something about local issues, but it’s mudslinging as usual when running for office.”
“Yeah.” She kept on cleaning and didn’t look back.
I thought about it. He criticized folks for being neutral, middle of the road. But, when someone got rowdy he called in the police and referred to folks who spoke up as dissidents.
Our pastor had issued much the same orders, though he didn’t use such crass language. I don’t remember him saying anything about neutral Disciples and Jesus was certainly not of the establishment. His message was of making “Disciples of men.”
I thought about my Sunday school class and the discussions we had about evangelism. While I would never say that some of the members are dead skunks or have yellow lines running down their back, I am a bit concerned that the radicalism of many members is simply short paying their tithe.
Nowhere do I remember Jesus saying, “Sit on your duff, don’t tell anyone about me.” Oh, okay he told a lot of folks not to brag about miracles, but that’s not the same.
It’s our job, as writers, as Christians, as men and women who proclaim the name of Jesus Christ to let others know of the joy and fulfillment of living a life of love and worship.
The café door opened and allowed in a cold breeze. I pulled my jacket up tightly around my collar. “Brrrr.”
The waitress winked at me. “Too cold for political speeches.”
Indeed, the rally seemed to be breaking up; nothing accomplished, no direction taken; just a lot of talk.
I guess some folks are destined to sit in the middle of the road with other dead skunks; the yellow line goes a long way – in politics and faith.
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