By The Reverend Mrs. Silence DoGood
For the last few weeks I cannot stop thinking about Ernest Hemmingway’s novel The Old Man and the Sea. In it an old fisherman named Santiago goes very far out to sea from Cuba in his small skiff. After many days of unlucky fishing he finally kills a huge marlin. Being exhausted and with the marlin being so immense Santiago straps it to the outside of his skiff. As he endures his very-long-return journey home in the shark infested ocean the sharks devour the marlin. He laments “Half fish … Fish that you were. I am sorry that I went out so far. I ruined us both.”
I sympathize with Santiago because I too think I went out so far. My husband told me not to do it. And it wasn’t my wonderful friendship with my best friend Alice Bright Light that led me to do it. I was curious. I wanted to speak with my deceased father-in-law and founder of The First Church of God’s Love, The Reverend Mr. Silas Patriot DoGood. And as an evidentiary medium Alice knew how to hold a séance. So we held a successful séance in the Sunday school bus which is where Silas first preached. The problem is that Alice doesn’t know how to close the portal to the other side; my father-in-law continues to have a presence in the Sunday school bus and communicates with us on its three blackboards. Like Santiago I think I might have “ruined us both”, my father-in-law and me.
My husband Willie eventually forgave me for disturbing his father’s peace by holding the séance but he still resents me. So when I asked Willie to attend my Sunday school classes he was at first hesitant. It was only because I reminded him of the beautiful music that the children spontaneously sang that he agreed to attend my classes. About two months ago all the students stopped listening to me and drew pictures of a space ship hovering over the Sunday school bus while they sang this unique and beautiful three-part music. Willie mocked me when I said that the music was extraterrestrial. Willie, who is a musical scholar, will record the music if it happens again.
Last Sunday I was about half way through the Sunday school class when the following message appeared on each of the three blackboards in the classroom bus: “Julien is a space alien on a mission.” I lost control of the class and my husband looked angrily at me. These messages from my deceased father-in-law remain on the boards for a few days and then disappear.
Julien is a divinely-handsome 20 year old farm hand who recently appeared and who is working on Streckfus Weedelmeyer’s farm. He chose Streckfus’s farm because he wants to learn everything there is about the growing of corn. Streckfus is known as The Corn King. We don’t know much about Julien including where he is from.
My eighteen old daughter, Sarah with an H, has a severe crush on Justin and lost 30 pounds to become more attractive; Julien is gorgeous. As I didn’t want my daughter or my son to see the message, I told them not to clean the school bus which they normally do for their allowance after each class. I paid them anyway.
Although I finally regained control of the class and was finishing my lesson my husband did not recover. The message from his deceased father once again reminded Willie that I “went out so far.” He was furious.
But that quickly changed when all fifteen students took out clean pieces of writing paper and began to draw a space ship hovering over the Sunday school bus. At first they were silent but then they began to sing the exotic and beautiful three-part harmony music that they had sung before. My husband’s face softened into disbelief and joy as he recorded the music.
I was weeping with fullness and joy. The music made me a believer. But who is Julien?
The Reverend Mrs. Silence DoGood
Choir Master (part-time)
The First Church of God’s Love