The sun gave light to the land as though word to nature leaves a Bible on the trees, giving word to life through the wind, animals listening even when that wind is quiet. Trees that country gospel, growing to the light to tell revelation of a touch of life that couldn’t live without those statues of green—trees that were home for wild families that had a light of their own, to pass the age, to make new, to make life, to mould light that reached to the heavens and to count stars our God would one day let us comprehend.
One tree, a tree that listened to those stars so much it would sing its own hymn and birds would perch on its branches and sing with it, was ready to come down. It was a tree ready for a mission. A mission not of paper to tell stories to the world of bad news, and not of coffee cups to beat the tired out of bad mornings. It was a mission of peace, proclamation, and the preparation of preaching.
The tree found itself in an old carpentry shop. The shop wasn’t industrial, and so it didn’t care for its product. It wasn’t so small that care could be compromised. It didn’t matter where it was made, but where it was going. Where it was going, care was already there. Christ always cared.
The wood was moulded into the long seat, as were many trees that were in the shop. It took time and effort, but they had to be perfect, like a Sunday morning with the sacrament at hand, at taste and at the passing of peace.
The wooden seats were ready. The pews were ready for prayer.
It is a Sunday like most Sundays, the sky blue as though the pew had already been baptized. The sun is strong to awaken the church. The people gather to worship and sit in the pews. A lone man sits in the pew that is ready like a squirrel resting on an autumn leaf. They have their liturgies, Bibles and hymnals. They are ready.
The pew stares at its best friends while scratching its back at the same time; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and some guy named Job, while the truth of existence always stares the pew in the face. The two words that make sense. Holy Bible. The pew will never forget those words. Neither will the lone man.
“Would you please rise,” says the pastor, wanting the congregation to sing with the wind in their lungs. The pew looks around at his wooden brothers, as the congregation looks at their hymnals, glancing around at their families in Christ. The pew is waiting for its favourite words it cherishes the most, the words it was made for.
“You may be seated,” says the pastor.
As the pastor professes a splendid sermon, his wisdom can be felt by the pew from the attention in the congregation seat. Wisdom that should be felt by all. Wisdom that should be felt by the world.
With an “amen,” another fantastic seated word, the congregation passes tiny baskets around, a donation from whatever anyone can give. The lone man gives a little. The pew gave its life.
As the congregation leaves for another Sunday, knowing they will return again, the sun beams through one of the stained glass windows that depicts the crucifixion. Jesus gave all so we can believe. The tree gave all so he could be fashioned into a place for the church to pray and profess our love for what Christ did for us on that cross.
Thank you, pew.
Thank you, Christ.
Adam Pelley is a member of All Nations CRC in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is the custodian, is a wrestler, and lives with schizophrenia.