Charles was quite pleased with himself. This was the third week that Pastor Smith had complimented him on his dairy farm and mentioned his prize bull, Luther, by name.
“I like that Pastor Smith, Henrietta. Can’t believe I waited so long to join you at Sunday Meeting. Why didn’t you tell he was such a nice fellow?”
“Well Charles, I never had very much in common with him, you know. Not that I don’t consider him a wonderful preacher. But you and he? I declare, you two are like long lost brothers!”
“I know what you mean. Amazing isn’t it?”
“Yes Charles, it certainly is amazing!” Henrietta beamed. Just a month previous, Charles wouldn’t have even considered going to church with her. But Pastor Smith changed all that.
“We’re planning a homecoming potluck in a few weeks ladies. Of course I am looking forward to sampling your wonderful cooking.” Pastor Smith smiled. “Be sure to invite your husbands,” he added, directing his attention toward Henrietta and others who came to church alone week after week. “And one more request. I need you to tell me the one thing that makes your husband most proud.”
Henrietta didn’t know if she should feel guilty for being part of such a ruse. “I suppose the end justifies the means,” she thought, “and it was Pastor Smith’s idea after all.” At any rate, she was thrilled to have her husband by her side each week.
Yes, a wise shepherd knows how to gather his flock before they realize they’re being gathered!
Kat ~10 October 2016
A short story for Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge based on the painting, “On the Way to Church” by Antos Frolka.