Poet in residence

Listening for the sacred subtext
When Bob and Carol Stratton arrived at my study for their appointment, all of the air in the room immediately disappeared. It was clear that this was going to be a hard hour. Before he even sat down, Bob began his now-familiar litany of complaints about the choir director, and Carol was already fishing around in her purse for a Kleenex. (Why are you already crying? What does that mean?)

“I just don’t understand why you keep that woman here,” Bob said as he finally settled back into his chair. “She has absolutely no regard for the wonderful heritage of worship in this church, and she insists on driving people away. I’ve heard from members of your choir, and they’re so unhappy that I’d be surprised if there even is a choir in another month. You’ve got to do something, and do it now.”

I was already rubbing my temples as I asked, “What do you want me to do, Bob?”


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