By The Reverend Mrs. Silence DoGood
I enjoy working hard. The best part is that you can often see the results of your labor. I remember that when I was getting my Master’s Degree in Boston I also worked part time as a waitress at the Toast and Butter Café. I watched the faces of the people as I delivered their orders. They would begin eating even before I placed their meals on the table. Their eyes looked at their plates as I was setting them down and their meals would then begin. Visually they would taste their food. I enjoyed watching their eyes.
Now I enjoy being the Senior Pastor of The First Church of God’s Love in the rural-farming hamlet of Halo, Pennsylvania. However, it has become more difficult since the Church burned down. Because of that we are holding our services in the Unity Grange Hall. “The folding chairs are not as comfortable as our padded pews were.” “The acoustics are terrible.” “There’s always a draft on my neck.” “I don’t feel holy anymore.” “I feel like we are going to a square dance instead of to church services.” On-and-on I hear the complaints of my congregation.
In addition to my pastoral duties I am now the executive in charge of a new enterprise. That enterprise includes the monumental tasks of fundraising, designing and constructing a new church. Luckily I have my wonderfully supportive husband and excellent volunteer committees to help me. I am exhausted.
I have described where I live in a few earlier Letters. Where I live at times makes me feel as though I am living in a graphic novel. As I drive through our rolling hills I see beautiful lakes, private ponds, Black Angus cows moving like living sculptures on hillside farms, sheep walking to different pastures to eat the freshest grass and a dog with its master going for a walk on a frosted field. It is from this graphic novel that I renew my strength.
My neighbor to the left of the parsonage has a five hundred acre farm with 140 Black Angus cows. When we happened to meet the other day at Dave’s Super Market he mentioned that someone had left a light brown goat on his property. It is now grazing with his cows. I decided to give myself a break from my work and to take a scenic drive through my graphic novel. Such drives always renew my energy. I get strength from Nature.
I drove to Homestead Lane which runs through my neighbor’s five hundred acres. I stopped my car and turned off the engine. I looked to the left where there was a small herd of about thirty cows. The goat was grazing with them. A large Black Angus cow with a white face looked at me. When a Black Angus cow and a Hereford bull breed a Black Angus calf usually winds up with a white face; Hereford cows have white faces.
When the cow looked at me it seemed to have meaning. At first I didn’t know what it was but then it became clear. I must have appeared to be a threat. That cow began to move slowly and many of the others followed her. Very slowly but deliberately about fifteen cows encircled the goat. One by one they moved as the goat continued to graze. Maybe the cows thought that the goat was a calf. Or perhaps it didn’t matter. The nurturing cows wanted to protect the weakest among them from what appeared to be an outside threat.
And then I had an amazing realization. I’m like the goat. My family, my congregation and the Halo community have all encircled me to protect me as I struggle with the loss of my Church. It burned down but from the ashes arose a circle of appreciation for my work. I can see the results of my work through their caring. Though still tired I was given a renewed source of strength. Nature has prevailed once again.
The Reverend Mrs. Silence DoGood
Choir Master (part-time)
The First Church of God’s Love
Copyright © Bill Donnelly 2022. All Rights Reserved.