AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES the rafters are ringing. Someone got the old furnace working again and the choir and full congregation lift their voices rapturously to the heavens. Chickadees call their names and sing their sweet, two-note song. Goldfinches and pine siskins twitter and gossip while bluejays broadcast the word through all the the neighborhood. Even the old deacon pines seem to stand a little taller and reach their arms a bit higher toward the sky.
Earlier there was some serious consternation in Fellowship Hall that The Fox had dropped by yesterday. “I heard he ate all the crumbs from under the communion table!” “He drank the holy water out of the bird bath!” “And he piddled right in the middle of the chapel!”—-“What?? Oh, that sinner!!!”
Finally, it fell to Old Doc Stump, local woodland psychologist and church curmudgeon, to put things into perspective. ”This is an ecumenical church isn’t it? I mean, we let pretty much anyone in here, right? Woodpeckers, crows, rabbits, squirrels, deer, woodchucks, heck we even have owls, don’t we? And you’d think no one had ever drunk out of the holy water before! Or piddled in the pines. I’ve seen you squirrels do it. So I think we can tolerate one fancy dresser from the Carnivorous Denomination stopping by once in awhile without everyone having a cow, can’t we?”
This seemed to re-set the conversation and everyone went back to discussing the weather, and isn’t it nice how warm it is today, and maybe spring will be early after all, and such pleasantries. And a breeze whispered softly in the woods, and the pine tops almost brushed the clouds, and under the winter ice, Old Man River still flowed slowly toward the sea. And all was well. We here at the Church O The Pines wish you a very Good Sabbath.