A view from under the pew: the saga of joey cricket

By Gary Mitchell: CNJ Religion Columnist

Editor’s note: Since the observing of the National Day of Prayer, Amos has been reflecting on freedom and its relation to spiritual life. He ran across two Scriptures – Joshua 24:15, which states: “… choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve …. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” and Galatians 5:1, which states: “For freedom Christ has made us free; Stand fast, therefore, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Using those two passages Amos decided to try his hand at creating a parable.
As a churchmouse, Amos types by hopping on the computer keyboard, but he can’t operate the capital shift, and he shuns punctuation marks – except dashes and hyphens.

the saga of joey cricket

once upon a time boss
there was a little brown
cricket named joey
joey lived in the lovely
land of crickets grove
a place where all the
crickets sang

joey wanted to be the
best singer in the land
but when he would go to
the clubs he would leave
disgusted and dismayed

most of the clubs were
owned by wicked cricket
the evil prince of crickets
grove
and when a cricket sang for
wicked cricket he had to
sing about getting high on
pesticide or the joys of
getting drunk on
sewer water
the other clubs were run by
agents of wicked cricket -
sectsie sal the goddess of
insect lust and rebel rouse
the god of gangsta bugs

joey wanted to sing praise to
the creator of the land the
lord of crickets grove and the
world beyond

the song of life was in his
heart and legs boss

since there were no clubs to
sing in joey just began to
sing his song on the street
corners

slowly but surely all the
other bugs and crickets began
to come by and listen to his
unusual crooning style
joey s buddies would hop
around and cheer as joey s
popularity grew

however wicked cricket would
send his crowd across the
street to mock jeer
and ridicule him

eventually the cheers were
silenced and joey s buddies
left him and began to go
back to the clubs

joey often saw his buddies
with glazed-over bug eyes
or smelling of soured sewer
water and he would try to
steer them away from
wicked cricket s dens of sin

heck no they would say
we re free to live sing and
play all day

you mean you re free to
waste your life get sick
and die says joey

you guys can go back to
the clubs where death and
bondage abound but not
me i m set free from
that sort of misery
like you i once was lost
but now i m found
and i sing a new song with
a life-giving sound
all because jesus loves me
and sets me free
that s why i choose to
sing and serve the lord

boss it s just like joey
discovered
there is a freedom that is
real slavery – and a slavery
that is real freedom
amos

p s – who knows maybe one day
we ll all choose god s way
shun the dark
live life as a lark
and enjoy jesus love joy peace
and victory

– amos