Friday, March 26, 2010

Chapter XXIII. Amazing Opportunity


C 2004 By Gracie Prior

The Easter sun came up fairly shouting as Jimmy looked out the window at the new crocuses. He was all excited because he was going to church with Mary and her parents. He had a suit on that he didn’t wear very often. It was a bit short in the legs, but not too bad. He had shined his shoes the night before. His mom put a handkerchief in the jacket pocket just before he left. He walked over to Mary’s. He called her and she appeared in a pretty dress printed with purple and peach butterflies. She wasn’t wearing socks, but had bare legs he thought, and shiny little shoes. “Mary, you look so pretty. I like the hat.” It was broad brimmed with a purple ribbon around it and trailing behind.

“Thanks, Jimmy. You look great too. Mr. and Mrs. Brewster came hurrying out of the house. They all got into the blue Chevrolet with Jimmy and Mary in back. It was Easter Sunday. Mr. Brewster had to get there early to set things up. The car passed all the familiar houses and then the school and on to a part of town Jimmy had rarely been in. The houses were somewhat shabby and the trees in the yards old and gnarled. They traveled on to a business section just past the Harrisburg City limits. Mr. Brewster came to a few storefronts. One had a dirty green awning. On top of the building, a cross was displaying the words “Jesus Saves”. Mr. Brewster pulled in behind these stores and parked. He and Mrs. Brewster got out and each carried in a huge box of plants, white trumpets with green leaves. Mary got out carrying a black book and Jimmy followed. They went in at the back of the building. Inside, even with the lights on, it was somewhat dark and dingy. Mrs. Brewster fixed the curtains on the stage and set the plants around. Mary and Jimmy set up the chairs. Mr. Brewster sat at the back and went over his notes. Mary went to a table along one side, brought Jimmy a black book and they sat down.

“I brought you a Bible to use. It has pictures. You can take it home and borrow it if you want to.”

Jimmy looked it over. He turned to a picture of David and Goliath. He was intrigued enough to look up the scripture reference listed on the picture. Mary helped him find it. He read and read until it was nearly time to start. “Mary, this is awesome. Is it true? This story can’t be true.”

“Yes, it is; it most certainly is. It’s all true.”

Jimmy read a bit more. He watched the people come in. They were all dressed up. They wore no expensive clothes, but hats and gloves, and fans and all sorts of finery. A woman went to the organ and began to play a hymn. She played, “Christ is Risen, Alleluia!” Jimmy didn’t know the song but it thrilled him nonetheless. Then they sang, “Amazing Grace.” Jimmy didn’t believe he had ever heard such a wonderful song. The tune made his heart ache in a strange way. He wanted to hear it again, but the singing stopped.

Mr. Brewster, they called him Preacher, stood up and talked a lot about Jesus giving people food and multiplication. Jimmy was a bit confused, but he knew people in the story were fed and happy. He liked what he heard. Then a huge gold plate was passed. He remembered the nickel his mom had given him and put it in with the other money. Then they sang some more. One song was called, “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder, I’ll Be There.” He heard a long prayed for soldiers, and the President, and the needy and on and on. Then it was time for the people to go home. Several ladies came up to Jimmy and said how wonderful it was for him to come today.

Mary’s mom and dad cleaned up, gathered the plants and went in the car. On the way home, Mr. Brewster stopped at the County Hospital and took the plants inside.

Jimmy was invited to stay at Mary’s for dinner, but he wanted to go home. He wanted to get comfy and read his new book and be left alone. If there were stories in there like the David one, he couldn’t wait to get started.

(Come back next week when the Scribblers start their greatest adventure.)

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