Friday, September 26, 2014

if these pew coud talk

Jackie Stewart Collins8:31am Sep 24
If Only This Pew Could Talk
The rancid smell of rotting trash hung over the dump, weighted down by humidity as thick as a southern accent. Rats the size of small cats scurried to and fro carrying their treasures deep into underground tunnels.
I spotted an old church pew perched atop a mound of worn out tires. With the help of a friend we loaded it on the bed of my truck and I took it home.
My husband grunted and shook his head in disbelief at what I dragged home this time.
As I cleaned off the layers of caked dirt and grime I could see designs hand carved into the wood on the sides and arms of the old pew. Judging by the craftsmanship, and the materials used to build it, I concluded it was from the early 1900s.
In my mind’s eye this pew would be at home in an old country church. Men in suites and women tugging children walk under ancient, moss covered oak trees on Sunday morning. They greet each other with pleasantries and handshakes.
If this pew could talk it might tell us about fire and brimstone sermons vehemently preached from the altar by visiting evangelists. Filled with the Spirit they wipe spittle from the corner of their mouths with a white cotton handkerchief in one hand and the King James Bible in the other.
It could tell us about the people it cradled between its arms over the years. Mothers gently sway back and forth as they rock their babies, lulling them to sleep, men shouting amen and halleluiah to the rafters.
It might tell us of the hymns, the joyful noise, sung by the choir. Amazing Grace how sweet the sound, floats on the breezes made by the cardboard funeral home fans.
If this pew could talk it might tell us about the smiles of people gathered to watch the bride walk down the aisle, her white alencon-lace train brushing the pine wood floor. Or, the many tears shed by mourners assembled to say goodbye to loved ones passed.
It could tell us of gossip repeated behind hand-covered lips, lies shared from one to another, and words of love whispered in secret.
If only this pew could talk.