a view from under the pew: thumper sees the light

By Gary Mitchell: Local columnist

boss i don t know if
people folks like you
ever have any problems
like this but we have
a noisy loud —mouthed
preacher toad down
here in the church
pew underworld

he rants and he raves
he prances and he
parades he yells at
trembling little ants
and fleas he stomps
and he hollers enough
to shake the trees

did i tell you he was
a bit obnoxious boss
question mark here
i preach and i teach
i teach and i preach
says he to any sad soul
willing to listen i can
tell you what s wrong
with you — and how to
make things right

yep that s our buddy
theodore toad but
everybody calls him
thumper because he pounds
on his bible all the time

anyway thumper got
depressed the other day
boss it seems nobody
was listening to him

so he up and goes to see
the most spiritual bug
in the kingdom virgil
the praying mantis

virgil what s wrong
with everybody i keep
yelling and preaching
and teaching and telling
them what s wrong
but nobody cares
nobody really listens

maybe you re playing
the part of amateur
providence in other s
lives and they don t
see it as a good role
for you virgil says
in fact i m not sure
god sees it as a good
role for you

just what do you
mean by that crack
thumper says rather
defensively

oh nothing virgil
replies undauntedly it s
just that sometimes we
can be so noisy in our
instruction of others that
god can t get anywhere
near us to teach us

but you don t see i feel
like i always have to
have an answer for god
says thumper

oh really virgil says
god can t answer for
himself — or is it that
he s really worried
about what any creature
says about him and his
creation or that he s
afraid the clay pot will
shake its fist in his face as
the master potter

no not necessarily
thumper says
thoughtfully i guess i
hadn t thought of things
like that

sometimes we have to
keep our mouths shut and
our spirits alert says
virgil the prayer warrior
god wants to instruct us
about his son and he
wants to turn our times
of prayer into mounts of
transfiguration
but we won t let him

anytime we re certain of
the way god is going to
work he may never work
in that way again

god won t be put in a box to
be categorized or analyzed
he just simply wants
us to get to know him

amos