The preacher’s wife came to church today with a black eye.
We all had thoughts and opinions that we shared in whispers with each other, but no one would say anything where it really mattered.
Because… what do you say?
But more than a few of us could not resist staring—
Some of the looks were haunting.
Others had something about them that resembled a holy anger.
And there were others that were sympathetic… almost empathetic, even.
But she just sat there, like she was unaware or unaffected by all that whispering and staring.
But then again… what could she do?
As the service progressed, there was some sort of a curious tension in the atmosphere.
There was nothing different in the routine—
There was still the same praying, and singing, and preaching….
And it’s not like she has not been to church with bruises before….
But this time it was as though there was a barrier stopping our worship from going farther than the roof of the building.
Some people became visibly restless. It was as though they were trying to signal to as many of the rest of us as they could, like a mother trying to tell an unruly child to stop acting like a fool before her guests.
But when your guest is the Almighty, All-knowing, All-seeing God, what fruits could all that effort possibly yield?
We continued worshiping.
After church, a child walks up to the preacher’s wife and asks about the eye.
We were aghast… because… imagine the nerve!
But we were also somewhat relieved—
Because… at last, someone said something where it really mattered.
But not many of us could understand it when the preacher’s wife said she had fallen in the bathtub.
How could she look in the eyes of a child and lie to innocence?
But then again, there is so much we do not understand….
At one time or another, we’ve perceived the stench of something as the preacher prayed with us about our personal problems.
We’ve heard him babble in odd moments as he wandered off into some mysterious space far, far away. Sometimes, it’s almost like he’s trying to hide from something.
We’ve seen him reach out, and then draw back, like he’d just touched something as tangible as pain.
And we know about the person from down the corner that always needs counseling and prayers and help with something… almost more than the rest of us put together.
Today, just like the rest of us, this person saw the black eye, but still lifted up hands, worshiping with the rest of us… almost like she doesn’t know.
How can she not know that she’s lifting up blood stained hands to the God of justice and mercy?
How can she not know…?
But what is that to me?