By The Reverend Mrs. Silence DoGood
My mother-in-law Teresa lectured me. It was more like an emotional scolding. That was her first reaction when I told her that her departed husband the Reverend Mr. Silas Patriot DoGood appeared at a séance that Alice Bright Light and I held. We held the séance to answer questions about my future as Senior Pastor of the First Church of God’s Love which my father-in-law founded. It was the first and only séance that Alice and I held.
Teresa emphatically explained that there was a natural and spiritual order in life that has to be respected. She explained that my main function as head of the Church that her late husband founded was to educate, preserve and live that spiritual order. She thought that what I did was sacrilegious and sinful. I violated one of the basic principles of life. ”You have no right to interfere with nature. There are two worlds and they should never meet.” I felt truly penitent as she spoke.
But then there was her surprise-second reaction. As I was leaving and she was escorting me to the door she said “Why didn’t you invite me?” There it was. She expressed a curiosity as potent as the scolding. She expressed the hidden quest in all of us to explore what lies beyond the nature that we know. And her quest for more understanding of the forbidden continues to grow.
We held the séance in the Sunday school bus because it was where Reverend Silas first preached. The bus was originally an out of service bus on his aunt’s property when he restored it, parked it on the side of a rural road and turned it into his first Church. It then was used for storage at a nearby summer camp when I found it and turned it into our Sunday school classroom. Alice thought that Reverend Silas would want to return to the site where he founded his Church. She was right.
During the séance as the Reverend Silas spoke through Alice he said “I will stay with you.” At that time neither Alice nor I understood what he meant. But we now know. He never left the Sunday school bus. He writes messages on its three blackboards. He first communicated with me about my future. Then he told us about Julian a farmhand who recently started working for a major corn farmer.
Although I tried to keep Reverend Silas’s blackboard messages confidential, there was no way to keep them from my parishioners. Then the rural farming community of Halo, PA learned of them. Now Teresa is frustrated.
“Why doesn’t he write me a message? I miss him so much. He’s my husband.”
“I’m sure he loves and misses you too.”
“I helped him create and run the Church. Your husband Willie is our son.”
“Reverend Silas loves you. You know that.”
“I want to spend time with him in the bus. Maybe when I’m there he will write to me.”
“The bus is only used as our Sunday school classroom.”
“I want to be with Silas. I have a right to be in the bus.”
I discussed Teresa’s desire to be in bus with Willie. He was still annoyed that I had held the séance but was less so over time. He understood his mother’s desire to be close to her departed husband. So he thought we should let her spend time there.
I can see the Sunday school bus from my kitchen at the parsonage. Several days a week Teresa sits silently in the bus crocheting. She waits. She is waiting to be told that she is still loved. We all have a human need to be loved for it sanctions our lives. The need is strong. And it doesn’t matter that we have just been kissed. We wait for the next one. She waits.
My sermon this Sunday will be about love. Not hearing it but saying it. We each have the power to sanction our loved ones by saying “I love you.”
The Reverend Mrs. Silence DoGood
Choir Master (part-time)
First Church of The God’s Love