There was a lovely building setting off a
main thoroughfare. The structure was set in a landscaped area with every
sort of planting design to give the grounds a look of peaceful
surroundings. There was a small walking bridge across a dry creek bed.
Setting all about there were very large boulders which, no doubt, had
been moved into the area with no small effort. It was a location for a
place of worship and truly, this was a fitting place to see the work of
men who are inspired to appreciate the beauty of creation.
Their car was brought to the rather large
overhang and the little family gathered Bibles in order to exit quickly
at the front door to wait while her husband parked the car. Other
families were gathering as well so Mitzie was moving the children along
so as not to cause a traffic jam. With only a minimum of hustle and
bustle they were inside and seated.
The woman took a moment to look about
her. There was a very rich decor. She noted a plush carpet, flower
arrangements at the front, expensive looking drapery across and behind
the podium. Setting at the front too was very expensive looking
furniture for the guest speaker to wait his introduction. Every where
she looked there was evidence of a fairly large congregation, possibly
two hundred or more. They were all well dressed with an easy feeling on
their countenances of comfortable living. This was a good size for the
population of the little town. She couldn't help but allow herself a
moment of revery as her mind went back to a time over forty years
Mitzie's mind went back to a time some
forty years earlier, and she was remembering how her mother had burst
into the living room of her home with a look of total disarray about
her. There were mud splotches on her expensive tan cashmere looking
coat, her habitually neat coiffure was pulled at to see strands of locks
of hair out of place, her shiny neat shoes on her very small feet were
clumped with mud.
"Mother! Whatever has happened to
you. Are you all right?" Mitzie was more than a little startled by
the unusual appearance of her Mother, not to mention the shocked look
the woman had on her face.
"I'm so furious!" the little
woman complained, "you will never believe what has happened.
I will never get into the car with that
"Who? Mother what has happened to
you?" "Where have you been?" the daughter had all sort of
visions of a car wreck, a stalled car, or any other possibility.
"Look at my coat!" the mother
was livid, "the cleaners will never be able to get these mud spots
out!" She began to rub at them with a tissue.
"Don't rub at them, please!"
Mitzie was busy removing the woman's coat from her shoulders. "Here
take your shoes off, they are just clumps of mud!" the dutiful
daughter was trying to begin to placate her mother's shattered
"Let me have your gloves,
Mother!" "Look! you have rubbed those mud splotches now your
gloves are soiled. I don't know how we will get this mud off white
kid." Mitzie took the soft delicate leather gloves and laid them
aside to think about later.
Her mother was pulling the pins from her
very long hair, running her fingers through it and working at twisting
it back into a bun until it was once again back in place and
characteristically very neat. All the while she was doing this she was
making disgusted comments about someone.
"That kid from the East. He thinks
everything is frozen here like it is up there in the winter."
"Oh! I am just so furious with him.
Of all the people we could have invited to Sunday's lecture who are
living in town. No! WE had to go to the country to make calls. I tried
to tell him about muddy country roads. Do you think he would
The picture was coming clear to Mitzie.
"Oh! I see," she raised her eyebrows without making a comment.
"Do you know I had to get out and
push the car? Sister Cooper and I? You know how tiny she is! Can you
imagine her pushing a car down a muddy road?"
"Well, as a matter of fact, I'm
having a little trouble visualizing you pushing the car. However, I know
now, how your good white kids gloves got so muddy." With that
observation Mitzi was not going to crack a smile. She may have had an
urge to laugh out loud at the ridiculous situation, but she felt sure it
would have put her at a great risk
That was another time, another
congregation and, although, it was the root of this one where they were
now, the similarities were lost totally somewhere in the passage of
time. Certainly, the little upstairs room was replaced by this lavishly
furnished room. This greater crowd of people was different too. They, no
doubt, had the same convictions but, the intense focused look of the
people who lived in her mind was not here. These folks were more
relaxed, going more to a casual attitude, which was fine and agreeable.
Their conversations were different too, as she remembered. In those
days, forty years ago, their main concern was a strategy as to their
carrying out their immediate goals with a quiet determination. Today,
these folks were discussing things of a nature going toward their daily
lives, their children, jobs, and other topics of local interest, which
certainly would have had nothing to do with pushing a car down a muddy
country road, and she smiled to herself with the memory of her Mother
and her less than Christian reaction to the ruining of her one good
Mitzie's revelry was interrupted,
"Is this your first time here?" A lovely young woman was
extending a greeting to her.
"Well, yes and no," Mitzie
smiled to her not wanting to go into a detailed explanation, "it
has been a while. My husband went to college here and we lived here, but
it has been a while ago."