“Hellooo, over there.”
Sandra heard a sweet musical voice calling over the fence. It reminded her of delicate wind chimes tinkling in a warm breeze. She stood up from weeding the flowerbed to see who belonged to the mesmerizing sound. The neighbor woman had walked closer and was standing by the gate between the two houses.
“I know you’re busy getting settled but I just wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood. We’ve been out of town for a few weeks and just now realized someone had moved in next door. My name is Rennie Jones.”
The petite, dark haired woman extended her hand over the picket divide. Sandra was charmed by her openness. She removed the dirty gardening glove and grasped the right hand of friendship offered to her.
“Well, thank you, Rennie. I’m Sandra Blythe and my husband is Thomas. He was transferred to the big defense plant a few miles from here. I do computer work from home. What with restoring this old house and keeping up with our job demands, we may not seem too social, but we’re here if you need us.
When Rennie smiled her whole face seemed to light up. “We stay pretty busy over here too. Our children are involved in a lot of things, and we support local politics as much as possible. In fact, my husband is running for Mayor. You’ll probably see his posters all over town. Just look for John Q. Jones – Ready to lead the People Where they Need to Go.”
“Really?” Sandra laughed, “ I think I saw him up on a hill gazing down on us regular folk from a tall billboard the other day. He definitely has the look of a winner.”
Rennie seemed to beam with pleasure at hearing nice things about the man she had been married to for twenty years.
“Honey, I’m home!”
Those were always sweet words to Sandra’s ears. After six months, the house seemed to be molding itself to them. They were comfortable in this town -- and well liked. Tom gave her a kiss as he passed by the stove.
“Hmmm. Smells good.”
“You always say that, you dear, sweet man.”
“That’s because it’s always true. What’s the news today from neighbor-watch-central?
Tom chuckled at Sandra’s version of the comings and goings of the people next door. He teased her about keeping up with the Joneses.
Sandra’s face looked pensive, even concerned, as she sat down at the kitchen table to share with her husband.
“You know,” she began slowly, “they really pray a lot.”
Tom stared at her, thinking he heard wrong. “Uh, do you mean play?”
“No, pray…like on one’s knees and with one’s eyes closed, and presumably talking to God, or somebody. They always seem to be kneeling on a little rug-like thing, sometimes right out on the patio. I can’t help but see from my office upstairs.”
“Well, my love. You know the elections are next week. John Q. probably needs all the help he can get, although I haven’t found anyone who isn’t voting for him. It’s the strangest thing.”
Sandra’s eyes opened wider as she pondered their mutual assessment.
“I know! I’ve noticed that too. There are some fine candidates, in fact, several are infinitely more qualified, but he just has this…this charisma thing, like you can’t help thinking he knows exactly what he’s talking about.”
Tom moved to go upstairs to change and wash his hands. He stopped in the doorway and asked his wife a question.
“What do you think? Will he make a good mayor?”
Sandra seemed undecided. “Well…they are so obviously clean and decent. How can that be bad?”
Rennie and John Q. sat on the couch in their well-ordered living room.
“Mr. Mayor, you are amazing! The whole town voted for you and now the Blythes next door are busy beavers working and ministering with our congregation.”
John laughed, so satisfied with his ability to convince and convict.
“ It wasn’t hard to get them interested in converting and serving after we talked them out of the foolish notion of Jesus being God’s only begotten Son. What intelligent, thinking person believes that nonsense today?”
Rennie stood and reached for a sweater.
“Come on. It’s time to visit a few more who still don’t get it yet. Tom and Sandra are going with us.”
“ Good. Who could possibly reject four moral and persuasive people who show up to witness?”
“Amen, Mayor Jones.”
Ephesians 4:14-15 (NKJ)
...We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
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