Night. Fireflies fell through the atmosphere at a furious pace, energizing the darkness. Dust covered the streetlights, lending a syrupy patina to the town. Lizards flicked their tongues in subtle expressions of curiosity and rage. Somewhere a deacon lay abed, not dreaming, but sighing yearningly. The moon stumbled over the window sill, fell on to the floor, and rolled slowly across the painted boards. The deacon ignored it. What was she to do? How could she sleep? Tomorrow night would be her second deacon meeting. It would be numbing. She’d try to hide in the woodwork again. It might not work. Too many others were trying to fit in there too. Last time the pastor led with a devotional and prayer. The pause that came next was portentous. So was his voice. She felt sleepy already just thinking about tomorrow’s meeting, so why couldn’t she sleep now? How could you be tense and wakeful imagining a boring and soporific meeting? Where was the joy? The praise? The celebration? Where was the beef?
Crickets tuned up; they played dirges and laments. Wolves howled. The Christian Reformed Church down the street sat silent, waiting. The deacons were coming. Tomorrow they would come. They would meet. They would turn on lights; they would talk and drink coffee. They would follow the agenda. They would turn out the lights and go home. This is what the church was waiting for. The church would settle back into the darkness and the quiet. There would be some interruption of the evening’s slow progression toward night. The floor creaked; the deacon sighed; somewhere angels were fighting. On this street the deacons were only a small disturbance in the gloaming. The church waited ….