Pastor Pratt is on the platform. He takes his position behind the pulpit and begins the introduction to his sermon. He usually starts his message with a light-hearted or heart-tugging illustration, often drawn from his own experiences. Today's story is no exception and casts him in the role of Peck's bad boy a quarter century ago. Like father, like children?
Mrs. Pratt is seated at the center aisle, second row from the front. Next to her is Darlene, then Darrin. And next to him is Mindy who is snuggled up against her Grammy. The two women have effectively blocked the egress from the pew such that no child is going to escape unless he crawls under the bench. What a great idea! Darren thought. If I could get to the vestibule. . . As "all heads are bowed and all eyes are closed" Darren drops to the floor and begins to work his way, on his belly, toward the back. At the fifth row back, though, he runs into a problem. Two problems, actually. The first is that this row is completely filled such that there is no space between legs to accommodate the boy's body. The second is that someone pronounces the "Amen." Darren is stuck beneath a pew and no place to go.
Samantha is looking all around, turns to Darlene and hisses, "Where's Darren?" Darlene shrugs, hands at her sides, palms up. Daddy, in the pulpit, sees that Mama is in a state, but he cannot let that distract him from the point he is making. But he notes that his only son is absent from his pew. Pastor intoned, "Let us look at Genesis, chapter 27 and verse 8." Then louder he read, "Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. Bring forth now to thy father the blue hymnal in the rack on the back of the nearby pew." A bit of snickering, especially from those who had turned in their Bibles to the passage cited. Darren felt the hair around his cowlicks stand on end and a chill ran down his spine. He knew he had been had, but he rose sheepishly from the floor, grasped a blue hymnal, bumped past three pairs of knees as he moved to the aisle along the wall, muttering, "Excuse me, excuse me, I beg your pardon." His father met Darren at the edge of the platform, the boy handed him the book and Dad muttered, sotto voce, "Wait 'til your father gets home."
The preacher continued his sermon, church was dismissed, and one sandy-haired, freckle-faced boy escaped the environs post haste, but he headed directly to the house.
©2017 David W. Lacy