Church Mouse on Church Life
Speaking of a church mouse, below find a free short story read from Tales of a Church Mouse.
Jason Anthony may be a church mouse, but his stories reflect life, as a story should…right? I know, not all stories accomplish that end. Take the latest Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens—more fantasy than science fiction. It is filled with the stuff of story for sure, but not story stuff drawn from the realities of life. Oh, there are “bits and pieces,” but they are few and far between.
I attended the movie, and although it was disturbing that there was no clear delineation as to what constitutes “the light” versus what constitutes “the dark” of the dark side, I enjoyed it. I initially gave the movie a B+, but after a day’s reflection a B- seems more appropriate. Others I have talked to grade it higher. But this blog post is not about Star Wars. It is about how a church mouse story reflects life.
Most of my stories are a reflection of the stuff of life. Of my eleven paperbacks and numerous e-books, Tales of a Church Mouse has been my best seller, a short book of short tales that captivate and keep you reading. Why? Because the story reflects the stuff of life. Jason Anthony Mouse is the proverbial fly on the wall…well, mouse in the corner.
The mouse tales were written when I was pastor of a church in Washington. I would write a story and share them with the congregation. Because the stories dealt with “sensitive” issues real to a congregation, I thought I might get some negative feedback. Instead, all of the feedback was positive, and much of it indicating the stories had had an impact for good on people’s lives. Such mousy story stuff is fun to write and fun to read, and can convict without hammering a person over the head.
Anyway, I thought I would share one of the stories from Tales of a Church Mouse with you. Hope it brings a smile.
Mouse Tale Six
From TALES of a CHURCH MOUSE
Yes, yes. Good to see you as well.
Story? Well, I’ve been itching to tell you about a particular happening that came to mind the other day. Wyoming? Oh, yes, that’s where it took place all right, before my move here, and didn’t it take place though!
You see, there was this fellow named Highbore Boles, who never really did care for our young “whipper-snapper” of a preacher. “Nothing personal,” he would assure people, “but that young preacher just doesn’t set right with me. You know, not quite what a real preacher should be.”
Well, one day I was outside the church checking my miniature dandelion patch—a special breed I came up with myself—just under the lowest front step of the church. It was a Saturday afternoon. Unexpectedly, Mr. Waspin happened by. When I saw him heading for the church, I hurried into an old tin can by the corner of the porch. Someone had shot it with a 22, and the hole was situated just right so that I could get a good view of the steps where Mr. Waspin planted his seat.
Mr. Waspin had no more than sat down when along came Highbore with his “as usual” sour grin. “What you up to Waspin?” he said, as he planted a foot on the step in front of the older man.
“Out for a walk, Highbore, and decided to take a little breather. It’s a hot one today,” he commented in return. He pulled out a big red kerchief from his back pocket and wiped his brow.
“Yes, it is a scorcher,” returned Highbore. He shook his head and grumbled on, “Wish I could say the same for that preacher of ours. Some of his sermons are downright uninteresting. Furthermore, he doesn’t get out and visit much. Add to that, he’s a poor organizer, and he doesn’t have no backbone. Met him on the street the other day and he was chewing gum. Can you imagine that? A preacher chewing gum? And if that isn’t enough, he gets to his office late every day. Why I…” But he was cut short by Mr. Waspin.
“Come, come, Highbore,” the older man bantered with a wave of his hand. “Where do you get your image of a pastor? You find that stuff you’re grumbling about in the good book? If the preacher studies and prays late at night, and gets to his office later than you think he ought, what’s it to you? And the good book doesn’t say that his sermons have to tickle your ears, just as long as he’s preachin’ the Word. And you know Highbore, I’ve searched and searched and can’t find nothin’ about a preacher doin’ visitation except for the sick and widows, so what’s done in that area’s just a little added blessing to praise the Lord for, huh.”
Highbore had pulled back his foot, and he stood there twiddling his thumbs nervously while getting a bit red in the face as old Mr. Waspin went on. “You know, High, you’re right about that preacher being a poor organizer, but how many talents does one man have to have? He didn’t come to be an executive; he came to preach the Word. Some of the rest of us can share the organizing blessings. And no backbone?” Mr. Waspin questioned, raising one shaggy eyebrow. “Hadn’t noticed. At any rate, I think instead of talking about him we ought to be praying for him, hadn’t we, High?”
“’Spose so,” was Highbore’s somewhat despondent reply as he stuffed his hands to his back pockets.
“Say, Highbore,” Mr. Waspin continued, “have you invited the pastor over to your place recently? And might I suggest that when you do have him over, you look for some of his good points and sort of ignore the shortcomings. I do believe our Lord said something about loving one another. Sometimes that takes a little work, brother.”
At that point, Mr. Waspin got up from the steps, bid Highbore adieu and sauntered off.
Highbore Boles stood there all alone like as he watched the old fellow disappear on down the street. “Guess I’ve been looking at things all wrong,” he mused aloud. “Maybe I should invite the preacher over.” And with that, Highbore took a step in my direction, swung his right foot back, and I hung on for dear life. When I woke up I was stretched out under a cactus and my head and body felt like…well, I’m sure you know exactly how I felt.
Oh, by the way, Highbore and the Pastor got on much better after that. He never was the “best pastor in the world” as far as Highbore was concerned, but as he put it, next time I overheard him talking to Mr. Waspin, “He’s the man God sent us!”
Well, I’ve got to go straighten Pastor John’s desk. Sometimes he can be so messy…uh…but then, I have the blessing of being able to do my part.”
See you later!
Jason Anthony Mouse
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What are your thoughts on “Nothing Personal”? I look forward to your comments.