Last Sunday, while I was waiting for the service to start, a leprechaun sat down in the pew in front of me. I didn’t notice him at first because I was scheming how I could get the necklace I had fallen in love with at a boutique where I can’t even afford to browse. My friend Diane, who collects people, elbowed me and mouthed, “new guy,” while she pointed with her chin. I knew as soon as I saw his green shirt and vest, and his tight red curls and countless freckles. I couldn’t see his eyes, but I would have bet the necklace I’d never own, that they were green.
I don’t expect to see leprechauns at church, so I have to admit that when the service started, I watched him instead of paying attention to the pastor. I wondered why he was there. I mean, I know God made the Fair Folk because He made everything, but no one ever talks about them at church. Do they believe in God? Did Jesus die for them? Some of them are pretty nasty, but I don’t think they’re like demons, or are they? I was sure C. S. Lewis would know, but since he’s not around to ask, I finally gave up and looked up at the pulpit. The sermon hadn’t started yet so I didn’t feel too guilty for letting my mind wander.
“’…where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ May God bless the reading of His Holy Word.”
The sermon was about a treasure in a field or about the kingdom of God or something. Okay, I admit, I still didn’t pay attention. I wondered if the leprechaun had an Irish accent and where his gold was hidden and how to find the end of the rainbow. A sort-of-rainbow from the stained glass window was shining on the pastor’s arm. It reminded me of the emeralds and rubies in the necklace I wanted.
When we stood for the closing hymn, I wasn’t surprised to see that the leprechaun was shorter than the others in his row. The question was really how he got so tall. The minute Pastor Bill said the final amen, Diane was out of our pew and standing in the aisle next to his. I watched them talk while I sidled to the end of the pew, dying of curiosity.
“Marjee, this is Sean. He just moved here from Boston and is looking for a church home.” Diane had made good use of the two minutes it had taken me to gather up my Bible and purse.
“It’s nice to meet you.” There was no sign of an accent.
I smiled while I confirmed the green eyes.
“Your search is over. This church is perfect. Right Marj?”
“Well, maybe not perfect.”
Diane glared at me, but Sean, the leprechaun, had listened to the sermon.
“You may be right, but I’m just looking for a place that’ll help me lay up treasure in heaven.”
Oh. That was why he was in church. He had lost his pot of gold. He had probably heard that the Kingdom of God is like a treasure and gotten mixed up. I debated telling him it wasn’t that kind of treasure. Just then a kid came running into the sanctuary.
“Hey everybody, there’s a giant rainbow outside.”
I looked at Sean, waiting for him to run out to get his gold back. But he just smiled at Diane and me, then looked at the pastor walking up the aisle toward us.
“Excuse me, ladies. I’d like to talk to your pastor. It was nice meeting you.”
“Come on, Diane, let’s go see if we can find the end of the rainbow,” I said, watching his eyes.
He didn’t even blink. I resisted the temptation to look back at him as we walked to the church doors.
“He’s nice. I hope he comes back.”
I’d like to get to know a Leprechaun, and his treasure, I thought. That reminded me of the necklace.
“Did I tell you about the cool necklace I saw yesterday? It’s a globe made out of jewels. The ocean is made of sapphires, the continents are emeralds, and it has rubies for cities.”
Diane laughed. “Too bad you don’t have a rich boyfriend to give you the world.”
Scripture quotation is Matthew 6:21, KJV
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