Christian Short Stories

Richard writes: "Richard resides in Hawkesbury, Ontario, Canada. He obtained a BA. Honors in English and a B. Ed. He taught high school for thirty years. He has published poems, short stories and a novel, "Hooked on Fish Tales".

My Lambs...Know Me! - Part 2
By Richard David Briggs

Hmmm! ... Yes, now that you mention it Mrs. Kennedy! ... Father Patrick! ... What really irritates me is that you actually dare to give masses outside this church to those ... those flea-bitten vagabonds who are nothing more than a bunch of alcoholics and drug addicts! ... You weren’t hired here at this parish to do such an outlandish thing and bring shamefulness to us all! ... Are you out of your mind?”

"Fine! …Be calm, one at a time! Ladies, I ‘ve no idea how ya know about the amount time I spend on me personal computer and frankly I do na care. Fer yer information, I’m presently takin’ courses on-line taward me doctorate in Theology.  

Secondly, I have fourteen of ar regular members who e-mail me questions about their faith. The majority ar confined ta their homes, and lastly, I do write the occasional letter ta me parents and siblings back in Dublin.  

Ta explain yer other concerns, I do make regular visits ta two nursin’ homes, do masses there and hear confessions. The City General Hospital Administration will also assure ya that I do see the sick who ask fer me. And aye, I perform several masses in the hospital chapel each week as well!  

As fer the homeless,  I hold mass fer them on me day off that is on Monday. Ah! These distressed ar the children of God too-o-o! ...  And ta be sure, I do invite all the people I meet daily from many public places  and try ta persuade them ta join ar church just as Christ’s apostles did! ... So-o-o  ...  aye-e-e, ... I do-o-o God’s werk!  

But look at the two of ya! ... Arrogant critics ya be! ... God’ s Will be done - not yers!... Yer wisdom of the warld is foolishness in God’s eyes! ... Ya must view matters through His viewpoint as revealed in the Scripture - especially from the Book of Wisdom! We must sow peace ta all, luve ar neighbor, tell the truth, practice ar faith, give hope ta others, let us be light and joy! ... Pardon all! … Includin’ me-e-e!”  

“No-o-o-o  Father Patrick! ... All your fancy preaching won’t save you now! ... You darn-n-n well listen to us!  ... We had a happy nice church in our community before you came here and messed it all up! ... I underline the fact that ungodliness has no place in our parish! ... The choice is yours to make! ... Change! ... Or, we will take up a written petition and include it in our report! … Then, you’ll be sent merrily on your way!”  

“Is that so-o-o Mrs. Kennedy! ... In that case, I choose the way-y-y of Christ! ... His Way is not yer warld’s way! ... Christ Himself did say, ‘Remove the beam from yer eyes befer attemptin’ ta remove the speck from someone else’s’.”

“Well! ... I have never been so offended in all my life! ...  We’ll just see about that! ... Good day to you Sir-r-r!”

Heard the office door slam hard! Phone rings many times. Father Paddy answers, mutters quickly, walks hurriedly about, then he too leaves! ...  Me? ...  Probably back on the streets by tamarra mornin’!   Their treachery triggered off painful images of Kathleen who’d abandoned me nearly two years ago fer reasons I ne’er understood! ... Cheated me outta passin’ me life with her, of not havin’ children with her, of not takin’ her back ta visit her family in Dublin! O! … Culdna’ go on livin’ without her! ... Me?  … A lost lamb caught in the briars!

My but how the spirit is willin’ and the flesh is weak! ... Even though I’d gotten rid of me whiskey still, I’d kept five bottles fer occasions like: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. Lawrdie! ... Befer I knew it, I was immersed in me private pity-party I was! Take a couple swigs! ... Whoa-a-a! ... Feel great! ... Begin singin’ at the top of me lungs:              

“I’ll ta-a-ake ye hame agan-n-n, Kathlee-e-e-en
Across the ocean wi-i-i-i-ld and wi-i-i-ide,
To-o-o where yer-r-r heart has ever bee-e-en
Since first ye-e-e were me-e-e bonnie bri-i-ide.
The ro-o-o-os-s-ses all have left yer-r-r cheek-k-k            

I ‘ve watched them fa-a-ade away and d-i-i-ie”   Recall Paddy’s fervent sermons on how Saint Paul struggled with his fleshly desires too-o-o while shackled in Rome’s dungeon. He tried valiantly ta do what God had commanded him!  

After me third drink, guilt compels me ta put the whiskey bottle back inta the fridge. Decide it might be better ta let the Holy Spirit guide me. Unnoticeably, doze off inta an alcoholic daze I do. Suddenly awaken!  Sense a heavenly presence, open me heavy peepers ta see standin’ off in the far corner by the wooden oak staircase, two quiet figures likened ta sweet angels with shimmerin’ halos!  

‘Who’s there?...  Is it ya Father Paddy and Saint Michael cum ta take me hame ta God? ... Ready or not, I’ll gladly go-o-o!”  

“Nay Carl, ’t is Paddy fer sure. Yer time has not yet cum! Got ta tell ya somethin!’”

“Ha Paddy! … If it really be ya, I heard the whole riot act from down here! ... I’m not interested in arguin! ... Save ya and the almighty council a lot of bother! ... I’ll git me gear and be on me way at dawn! ... I’ll be no more of an hindrance ta ya all!”  

“Fer the luve of Mike! Hold on ta yer britches Carl! Let me explain!”  

“Yer both evil apparitions! Ya and yer female spirit clingin’ ta ya arm can both go back ta hell! … ’T is God who’ll have me soul!”  

“Carl, ya do na understand Lad. This luvin’ woman means ya no harm!”  

“Thanks ... but no thanks! ...  I’ve had the luve of me life! ... No other woman can ever replace me sweet darlin’ Kathleen! ... Away-y-y with her ya tempter from Hades!”  

Closer they cum, more I brace me shoulders against the cold cement wall. Such fanciful creatures seem ta be almost floatin’ in mid- air! ... Must’ve been halluciatin’ fer sure! ... Me whiskey batch was better than ever I’d ever known! Do na trust me sight!  

Feel a broad heavy haund upon me shoulder, squeezes it gently, dare ta peek in me bewilderment!! ... Ooooh! ...’T is real!  Dispite the glarin’ light, see a lady beautifully dressed in emerald green glimmerin’ berfer me! ... Awe-struck by her long wavy ginger red hair glowin’ like I’d once seen in a gold-framed paintin’! ... Her soft rosy smilin’ lips put me at ease.   “Carl, ... I ve a guid surprise fer ya ole friend!”  

“O’ Carl! ... Carl me Luve!... Do ya know me not?”

“I ’ve died-d-d and gone straight ta Heaven! ... The whiskey stopped me heart!”

“Carl ya ole fool! Take me in yer arms me darlin’ husband! ... I long fer yer touch!”

“Kathleen! ... Kathleen! ... Oh! ...  Nay! … Nay! …‘T is Beelzebub trickin’ me!”

“Cum here! ... Luve ya maun! ... Always have, ... always will! … I’ll kiss ya silly!”

“’T is a miracle by God Himself! ... Kathleen! ... But how?”              

“O’ sweet Carl, ’t is a long story indeed! ... On that sad Friday, ’twas me day off from me job as sales representative, had coffee with Betty me colleague who’d arrived from New York City. She’d sold a huge lot fer ar company that qualified her fer a head office position in Miami, Florida .Told me about havin’ a grand opportunity too if I culd get ta New York rit away!  

So I didna notify me boss just in case I wouldna have sold anythin,’ or did I tell ya either fer fear of makin’ an idiot of meself and have ya laughin at me! ... Ah me stupid pride tempted me ta prove meself ta be a fine and successful businesswoman! ... O-o-o-! ... How stupid a lass I really was-s-s!  

Ta be sure, I arrived in the big city at 9:30 a.m. sharp and kept me mornin’ appointment. Must confess didna sell much so no one was any the wiser! Went ta get a cab ta go-o-o ta the airport. Three ugly thugs mugged me!  Left me fer dead they did!   Two New York .patrol policeman found me later completely unconscious and robbed! ... Had no money, no identity! ... Rushed me ta the hospital, stayed in a coma fer a year and three months., woke up, had amnesia from several violent blows ta me head. Took two more months befer I finally remembered who I was and where I lived.

Once dismissed from the hospital, knew I had lost me job. Yer phone number had been disconnected! Got a waitress job servin’ burgers and fries fer the last few weeks. Soon as I got me first me pay check, I hopped on a bus and came back here ta find ya!

Met with Officer Tom Jensen at the constabulary who knew about ya ‘cus ya had been arrested on several occasions fer vagrancy and fer bein’ drunk on the sidewalk. Wasn’t too happy ta hear that! ...The constable phoned Father Patrick only about an hour ago who came and got me. And Carl, befer ye ask me if I’d been raped too-o-o, I can tell ya with full honesty, the answer is nay-y-y!

“O’ me Kathy! ...  Me Bonnie, Bonnie Kathy! ...  How I luve ya Lass!’

Grab me the whiskey from the frige with lightnin’ speed, fill three glasses!

”Father Paddy, Kathleen, I make a toast ta show ya me profound gratitude!”

“Carl, as yer priest ya know I must refuse! ... Hand me that empty mug over there!

“Paddy, Kathy, ta happiness and thanks ta the Dear Lawrd, fer His mighty blessin!’

Danced an Irish jig, I did, downed Paddy’s drink too-o-o! We broke out inta song:

            “When-n-n Irish eye-e-es ar-r-r-re smilin-n-n’

            Sur-r-re ’t is like a morn-n-n in spring-g-g

            In-n-n the lilt of Irish laughter-r-r

            Ya can hear-r-r the angels sin-g-g-g!

Once more pour another round, raised ta ar lips, we drink half, Kathleen kisses me madly once more! We toast again! All the while, two ladies had been watchin’ us at the bottom of the stairwell wearin’ sharp looks of disgust! 

“So-o-o-o Father Patrick! ...  What is all this carousing and womanizing about?”

“Oh, a guid evenin’ Mrs. Cooper and Mrs. Kennedy! ... There’s no wrongdoin’ here!

’T is the joyous reunion of Carl and his wife Kathleen!! ... But, why such a late visit?”

“We came to your office first but obviously heard all this raucous down below! We’d reflected upon what we’d said earlier and decided to find a more amiable solution to this obnoxious problem! ... Anyways, ... well … you go on Mary!”    

“Thank you Joan. As you probably know, my duty on the parish council is Social Justice that involves many aspects such as: working with community charities, the food bank, our own church activities including Christmas baskets, and being of service to certain parolees placed on probationary community-work, and of course helping particular people such as yourself Mr. O’ Connor to get back on your feet so you’ll have a chance to re-adapt to civilized society once more and become a fine upstanding citizen! ... However seeing the drunken mischief here, I think our well-intentioned efforts would be useless!”

“And I couldn’t agree more with you more Mary! I think it’s best we be on our way. We must finish what we should have done! ... Father Patrick, you’ll be receiving an official letter from our parish council asking Bishop Richards to send us your replacement! ...

This whiskey incident too will be noted! We must protect our parish’s welfare - not yours! The two witches fade inta oblivion. Stunned, Paddy leaves as silent as a lamb led  ta slaughter! We observe him slowly climb the stairs, follow him at a distance, watch him kneel at the altar, prays earnestly ta Christ’s figure hangin’ from the huge crucifix above:

“‘O’ ... Lamb of God, ya take away the sins of the warld, have mercy on us,   Lamb of God, ya take away the sins of the warld,:have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, ya take away the sins of the warld. Grant us peace
.- Amen’ ”

Kathleen and me leave unnoticed, ar hearts driven ta great sorrow! ... Ashamed, we flee inta the black evenin’!  ...  Pass an awful sleepless night at Robinson’s Motel at me darlin’s expense. Next morn, find arselves rentin’ a sleazy apartment on Main Street and promise me  Luve with all me heart I’d look fer a plumber’s job on the morrow.       

Two weeks later, Kathleen and me show up fer Easter Mass at ten o’clock. The front three rows were marked: Reserved! ... The rest of the pews were packed  with well-ta-do parishioners. No choice! … Had ta stand! …  ’T would be some tryin’ sacrifice!

Jus’ befer service began, Frank Mac Lean the head usher, cums smartly up ta me. Smilin’ coyly asks, ”Kathleen, Carl, would you like to bring the wine and communion host to the priest?”  Shows us where they lay. Agreed with great pleasure! See me Kathleen’s face light up thinkin’ that yer congregation had finally accepted us as their own. A moment later Frank returns and seats us up front on the far left! ... Aye! ... Believed him ta be a true maun of faith! ... Move up feelin’ kinda important-like!  

A grand celebration indeed! ...  Me mind, heart, and soul felt the very presence of God! ... Kathleen’s face told me she did too! ... How the choir sang such joyous songs! Joined in we did, sang ar Irish hearts out with eyes filled with happy tears! ... ‘Twas jus’ like back in Dublin’ ...  Luved it all!

Time came fer me and Kathleen ta bring the host and wine ta Father. Hurry quickly ta the back! ... The communion gifts were gone! ... Frank had moved them without tellin’ us! ... Kathleen  quickly spots them in the middle of the aisle placed upon a wee table. Signals ta me with her forefinger! … Poor lass! ... Didna dare cry out ta me!

Made me way promptly ta her, we present them ta Father Paddy. Now standin’ strangely still, takes them with reverence, we bow, return ta our pew, we humiliated beyond all measure hurtin’ from their bloudy snikerin’ durin’ the entire mass!

When the collection basket passed amongst us, ya lousy rich city politicians, and notable dignitaries gave with the back of yer hand by showin’ everyone yer twenty and fifty-dollar bills!  … O’ so impressive!

Ah! … Ya well-known store merchants faired no better! Ya gave with yer closed-fisted hand after havin’ calculatin’ selfishly how much ya might profit in future business and through Federal tax income deduction. Mean gifts indeed!

That left yer intimidated middle-class parishioners not much choice but ta hide their donations in specially prepared church envelopes. While us less well-ta-do, shy as blazes, gave with ar open hand and exposin’ the puny donations we could afford, which wasn’t much! … Didna attend Easter Monday or durin’ the week!

Friends, God sends us all a guardian angel at birth ta help us o’ercum difficulties. And as sure as there is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow, me angel helped me ta pass the re-certification test as plumber in yer country. ‘Twas super difficult!

Believe it or not, got assigned a job with Barton Plumbers, began werk on Tuesday at standard. wage with Sundays and Mondays off! ... We’d soon git back on ar feet!

Kathleen landed a cashier’s job at Macy’s Department Store with the hope of gettin’ inta sales management. Ta ar chagrin, we bein’ too busy lost touch with Father. Yet, I knew he’d still be servin’ mass as charity werk ta aid the needy on the streets.

So early Monday morn, took a brisk walk downtown, turned the corner into Bum’s Alley, shocked ta see a tall burly man poundin’ Father Paddy out!

“Ya bloudy bully! Let Father go or I’ll break yer nose and loosen yer teeth too-o-o!”

“No Carl ... Let God take care of him!”

“Aye Paddy! ... And why do ya na think  ’t wasn’t God Himself who’d sent me? ... Ah-h-h! … No one can keep a true Irishmaun away from a fair or a fight! ... And this Paddy me bauy, is the guid fight the Lawrd has provided!

“Hell! ... I’ll deal with yah later priest and make sure yah never come back here! ... Come on runt! ... Yah’ ll be sorry yah ever showed up! I’m gonna put yah in the hospital!”

’T was David and Goliath! ... But what the big jerk didna know was that bein’ a bit small all me life, I ‘d always fought against the biggest brutes and acquired a lot of street fightin’ smarts too!

He swings at me repeatedly! ... ’Twas all in vain! … Bends down ta me height, reaches out ta grab me! Big mistake! I nail his chin! Once, twice, three times! …Knock him blind I do! … Lurches at me again, his hands reachin’ ta bear-hug me! I sidestep. Hit him with straight right squarely in his lower left ribcage. The fat oaf drops like a soggy sack of spoiled spuds!

Wheezin’ and gaspin’ fer breath, me like a matador ta a sword-struck bull, walk right up ta him, strike him with a left hook and right cross opening’ a long slit jus’ under his left eye. Crimson bloud spurts out, face bloudied, angers, gets ta his knees, I look him in his eyes! O-o-oh! I smile gleefully, head-butt him so hard, the giant falls rit nearly unconscious on his back. Lookin’ defeated, staqgers ta git up.

O-o-o-o! Mercifully I take him under me arm ta help him ta his feet, yet the sly damn gremlin grabs me windpipe, squeezes hard ta break it! Snap him a fast right upper-cut, break his nose, him bleedin’ o’er the sidewalk like a freshly slaughtered pig!

Raises his right hand, signals he’s had enuf! I crouch over once more, he spits in me face, I rapidly punch him in the teeth, leavin’ two of his ivories on the cement alley!

“See Paddy! ... Didna lose me touch! ... Quick! ... Let’s be on ar way-y-y!

Didna make it past the front of the alley, two aggressive coppers meet us head on!”

“Alright you two! ...  Hands up against the wall, spread your legs wide!”

“Officer Sir, ya do na understand!

“We understand alright!  … It’s you two who don’t!”

“Then ya didna see this huge thug moanin’ and groanin’ on the ground was the aggressor who’d attacked us!”

“That’s not the way we saw it!”

“Then ya’ re either blind or paid liars, ya are!”

“Bob, no weapons on any of them. So, what do yah wanna do?”

“Frank, I believe these two dumb Irishmen got the message! … So lissen up!  We received complaints about yah bein’ a nuisance around here! … We could have easily arrested you on criminal charges of assault and battery but we haven’t … Yet!”

Filthy mad I was! “I think we have the rit to know who placed those charges!”

Shorty, we aren’t at liberty to divulge this confidential information. Let’s say that it comes from people havin’ higher credentials than you in our society. But if I were you two, I’d never show your faces back here again!…You never know what could be lurking in these alley’s shadows! You were lucky once! … Maybe the next time? … Eh?”

“Constable, sounds more like bloudy threat ta me than a consolin’ counsel”

“Take it the way you wish! … Only understand we’re tryin’ ta save your hides!”

“We understand that we were set up!”

“Okay Bob, take off the cuffs! …So scram you jerks before we change are minds!”

Aye! God would determine the final outcome - not the police on the take, or the church council, or Bishop Richards!

Later in the evenin’, Paddy phoned Kathleen and me real urgent-like! We rush over lickety-split and nervously wait in the rectory. Pale-faced he notifies us of havin’ received a copy of the petition letter from Bishop Richards statin’ the Parish Council and Ladies’ Association objected that he bring undesirables such as me into God’s house and that he would be severely reprimanded his poor judgment!

“Fix me eye on him!, “Paddy, God ’ll show me how ta care of this problem!”

“Carl, Kathleen, ... do na go and git me into more trouble than I’m already in!”

“Paddy, me friend, when we’ve finished with those big shots, they’ll regret it!”

This Bishop Richards lived within four blocks from ar apartment. After work on Tuesday evenin’, Kathleen and I go ta see me street buddies who agreed ta protest with us!  We march up ta his Reverence’s residence, all twenty-eight of us chantin’:

God’s house is fer all! ... Christ knows his lambs! ... His lambs know Him!”

Curious folk gather around, gawkin’, squakin’, takin’ genuine interest in ar cause, vehicles stop, others pass by honkin’ horns in agreement! Two back and white police squad cars survey us from a distance. Then, a white TV van pulls up in front; three male cameramen hop out accompanied by a shapely Top-Model sexy female journalist!

See Bishop’s livin’ room curtains move, catch a glimpse of his fowl face glarin’ out at us! ... Within several minutes, his front door opens wide, runs down his walkway, pulls me roughly by the elbow edgin’ me ta follow him inside.

“Troublemaker!  … What in Heaven’s name do you think you’ re doing?”

“Well yer Reverend Sir, the way I see it is that ya reinstate Father Patrick, git rid of the malevolent parish council members and those on the Ladies’ Association who called fer his resignation ... or I’ll take me story ta the media!”

“Who do you think you’re talking to? …That’s blackmail! ... And a grievous sin!”

“And, … what are ya doin’ ta Father Patrick?”

Stupid little man! ... I don’t have the authority to force those counselors to quit!”

“Bishop Richards, … ya ’d better find a way fast or in five minutes I’m walkin’ out yer front door and spillin’ me guts and makin’ quite an unpleasant scene! …  Either ya are part of the problem or part of the solution! … Archbishop Chamberlain won’t be too-o-o happy either! … Who do ya think he’s gonna blame?’

”You devil from hell!”

“Am I now yer Grace? ... And ya Sir? ... Y’ er nothin’ more than an arrogant wealthy hypocrite! ... Are ya not supposed ta be Father’s Patrick’s Good Shepherd who is ta take care of yer lamb in danger of the wolves?  Lay down yer very life as Christ had commanded?” … Well?”

”You scrubby vagabond, don’t you pretend to preach Biblical morality to me!”

“Yer Worship ya sit there defendin’ yerself! This is not about ya! No doubt ya have studied much at university but ya sure don’t practice yer Christian principles!

“Ignoramus! … You think you have sufficient knowledge to judge me?”

“Nay-y-y! ... God will be yer judge ya  - not me-e-e! ... Remember what Jesus said yer Grace, ‘Not all who cry, Lawrd ,... Lawrd will enter the Kingdom of Heaven!’ … He’ll separate the sheep on the right and the goats on the left! … Which side are ya Sir?”

Bishop’s face reddens, bows his head, and ponders. Had him by the throat I did! Pushes me abruptly aside, I follow closely, walks up ta the camera, diplomatically states:

“Good evening everyone!  We were just gathering to plan a rally! ... However, we’re not quite ready for the undertaking so I can’t comment any further!'

Miss Hot Shot sticks her microphone right under his nose! “Bishop Richards, our TV viewers are keenly interested to know what this loud church rally is all about!”

“A charity-drive of course! ... Can’t  talk about it now! ... Details have yet to be worked out! ... You’ll all know soon enough! … Er! ... No more questions!”

Grabs hold of me by me coat pocket draggin’ me back inside.

“You defiant disobedient dead-beat! ... I should have you and your vagrants thrown in jail for threatening me and dishonoring the church!”

”Ah, but ya won’t, will ya me Grace? ...  First of all ya just lied publicly!  Secondly,  it has not yet cum ta light who’d sent that goon ta beat up Father Patrick in ‘Bum’s Alley’. Let’s hope fer yer sake that it’s not ya. If so, ya haven’t finished with me yet! And if it was from the church council, ya’ d better take care of that mess too-o-o! We’ll sue yer ass off!

And lastly, I have nothin’ ta lose!  But ya Sir, have yer job, prestige, reputation, future advancement, and yer pension at risk! Trust ya’ ll tactfully take care of this matter?”

“What choice do I have? ... You revolting irritant! Get out and never come back!”

“Aye Bishop Richards that I will! … Remember though, Scripture is filled with self-righteous powerful authorities like yerself who persecuted God’s Lambs! Hah! All their kingdoms were reduced ta rubbish and so will yers! ... Ya, like me, were born ta serve the Lawrd ar’ King - not ta fulfill selfish career dreams! ... I’ll leave now in God’s haunds!”

Informed Paddy I did! ... Alarmed me poor friend ta no wit’s end! ... Pointed out ta him that ar Lawrd has His Own Way of resolvin’ life’s unpleasant challenges unlike ars.

Pass by the church on Thursday evenin’ around seven o’clock, see a grand meetin’ assembled with many cars outside. Creep up ta the basement window ta overhear the goin’s-on. Hard ta catch everythin’ ‘cus of the street traffic noise.

Huh! But one undeniable fact rang loud and true-e-e! Several members of the Church Council panicked regardin’ Bishop Richard’s reply ta their petition ‘cus the malefactors culd be charged fer slanderin’ Father’s Patrick’s character! Half of those in the Ladies’ Association promptly gave in their resignations as well fer personal reasons!

Hidden behind the snowy cedar bush in the driveway, I view the malcontents leavin’ arguin’ and blamin’ each other fer their close legal brush of havin’ ta go ta court!

So be it! Befer I knew it, May drew nigh, greedy replacements filled the vacancies promisin’ ta demonstrate true Christian values in their affairs. Found out also they had a more genuine positive attitude. Oh! Bishop Richard’s allowed Paddy ta complete his term.

When Paddy was assigned ta some other parish, I was disappointed he didna tell me where he was goin’. Felt personally hurt! Later on, the new council chairperson, Eddy McDonald, who invited me ta be the new secretary on the church council, let me know confidentially that Bishop Richards had sworn Father Paddy ta the Catholic Church’s Rule of Obedience meanin’ a ‘gag order’! One month later, we’d learned that His Grace had been recently transferred ta a diocese far out west! ... Ha! Guid riddance ta bad rubbish!

Autumn was soon upon us. Felt restless, didna know why, had ta find out! Even Kathleen noticed me frequent periods of inner turmoil. She grew scared, thought I didna luve her anymore! ’T wasn’t so-o-o! On a late October gray day, I take a solitary walk in yer city park searchin’ madly ta find the source of this relentless hauntin’ melancholy.

Suddenly standin’ stark still in serene silence, sense ar Lawrd’s presence! Ah! My empathetic soul cringes, as I witness the death of a mother-tree’s last leaf. What’s that? Such silliness, is it not?  But like it, we too one day will have lived out God’s Divine Plan!

Once, nature-nurtured, bud had burst forth, unfolded, its seasons ended, sun’s rays waned, leaf’s veins baked, blade blotched, green, crimsoned, paled to jaundice. Now, riddled-ribbed, burned brown, cracked, clutched on ta brother branch fer comfort!

Obeyin’ ar Father’s Design, sturdy stem chills, stiffens. Autumn’s gust arises! Swish! Severs leaf!  In faith, fetal-curled, falls, swirls, lands below upon its family’s shallow grave, inheritin’ the earth, as we all must do. And, God’ smiles in luve!

Soon dark short days brought forth December’s Advent again. Three days befer Christmas, me sweet Kathleen asks, “What was it like Carl when ya had ta sleep on the streets?” ... Her curiosity knew no bounds! ... Insisted ta go-o-o with me ta the alleys ta pass one night! … Finally I gave in ta appease hew will so I culd have peace of mind!

So here we are now hushed in deep shadows, cuddle from yer warld. Us wrapped in me former tattered blankets, tuck arselves snugly inta yer stores’ thrown-out cardboard boxes taken from yer smelly dump-bins, lie down upon on ar backs vulnerable ta winter’s cold wind, rats, and ta worse, yer city’s criminals’ attack!  O’ me lass all wide-eyed scared, witnessin’ so many sufferin’ and coughin’ homeless beside us, nestles up ta me like a trustin’ babe. Caress her small body I do, with me stocky reassurin’ arms.

A soft golden half-moon hangs in the glow of the last rays of twilight ebbin’ inta the horizon, trillions of blinkin’ orbs revolve harmoniously above us. Such a wonderful starry, starry night! ... The heavens filled with God’s Omnipotence, His Promise of real hope fer all mankind!  We both acknowledge His Presence, and equally rejoice in His Luve!

We also observe Venus sparkle like a diamond against a black velvet lace, the brightest planet in the sky, ancient Roman’s pagan goddess of luve! Ar eyes afire with passion fer each other! … Yet, we gently leave ar earthly desires aside, pray in reverent whisper tagether fer God ta help the poor, the starvin’, the abused of this warld, especially fer the thirty thousand neglected children in third world countries who die daily!

Bein’ ever so grateful fer all His wonderful blessin’s bestowed upon us, we bid each other a happy a guid-night. Ah! Me lucky bonnie Lass falls inta such a peaceful slumber. Me alone now in this silent, silent space, hear God’s whisper! … Me soul stirs!

O’, I imagine Ya little Jesus bein’ born in Bethlehem of Judea with Mother Mary and Father Joseph so many centuries ago! I see the Three Wise Men dismount their camels, kneel down, give ar Lawrd their felt-heart gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh!

“Jesus, Thou were a common carpenter by trade. And. I guess ... Thou chose me ta be a preachin’ plumber - a deacon fer Yer beaten and battered lambs lyin’ beside me, ta perform mass, teach ’em the Bible, ta clothe ‘em in Christian behavior, ta get them inta shelters, and somehow find independence fer them. I surrender meself willin’  ta Thy Call! ... I’ll feed Thy Lambs if they’ll let me! … If it be Yer Will!

But, if this happy, happy night be the closin’ of ar day, we expect a gentle passin’ ta be with Ya Jesus Christ face ta face, ar Lawrd and Savior, who will cleanse ar souls, have us reborn inta Heaven, bring us ta God the Father fer ar Final Judgment trustin’ fully in Yer Almighty Power that Ya will find some wee nook in Paradise fer us!

Also we hope Dear Jesus, that when Ya cum back ta this earth fer Yer Second Cumin’ ta gather up all Yer faithful lambs and deck them out in newly arrayed glorified bodies fit ta enjoy Eternal Bliss, Ya will include Kathleen and me too-o-o!”

Well me luvin’ Lass, when morn is nigh and ya awake from God’s rest, we’ll discuss about me completin’ Theology Studies, havin’ babes with ya too-o-o, and we’ll do-o-o God’s work haund in haund with full faith ‘cus we both belong ta Him! ... Aye, we cum from God, and ’t is His Plan we return ta Him! - Amen!

(© 2014 Richard David Briggs – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)

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