The 911 Church

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 20, 2017

By Fr. Jonathan J. Filkins

The alarm clock began a slow, low cadence to entice the sleeping couple to awaken from their alcohol enhanced slumber upon the Beautyrest.

As the digital tone’s volume and pace increased, the marshmallow-like forms began to fitfully rouse; until the strident annoyance could no longer be ignored, or tolerated.

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Slowly, and then with greater urgency, a singular, hairy arm appeared from under the duvet, headed towards the general direction of the offending noise. The first swipe, aimed at the snooze button, missed; sending the clock careering from the cluttered nightstand onto the tile floor below. The explosive sound, of the fracturing plastic, completed the task of waking the supine duo. As if in a death throe and, as if to make the point of its sublime superiority, the devoted appliance dutifully continued its raucous task.

Kevin groaned as he sat up on the edge of the bed, and began rubbing his aching cranium. In a low tone, muttering to no one in particular, “Geez, does my head hurt. I shouldn’t  have had so much.” He then reached over and grabbed the cord from the demolished radio. Giving it a quick yank, silence blissfully returned. Kate, the other participant in the early-morning drama, slowly stirred. She also had been given to a bit of excess at yesterday’s family crawfish boil.

However, this was Sunday morning and church was, potentially, on the cusp. They had not attended since Kate’s mother died early last year, but they felt it might be a ‘good thing to do.’

They had talked about it, a couple of times, and had made a few vague commitments, but never followed through; what with work and the children being so young.

Besides, they frequently intoned, wasn’t Sunday a ‘day of rest?’ However today, once again, they had planned to go; or at least it was on the schedule.

“Honey, we have to get the kids up…if we are going to go,” said Kate, in a raspy voice from deep beneath the covers. This was all that Kevin needed. The offered words came to him like a much-needed aspirin for his throbbing head, “IF we are going to go,” opened the door to the potential of returning to the arms of Morpheus.

The husband quickly took to the moment, and replied, in his most compassionate, husbandly tone, “Perhaps, it would be best if we stayed in bed…we can always go next week.” With a grunt, Kate rolled back over and soon began to snore.

With a smile on his lips and the assurance of further supine repose, he soon joined his wife in dreamland.

Within an hour, and far too soon for the desired cathartic effects of sleep to take sufficient effect, the couple was again assaulted by the outside world. This time it was their two young daughters, who had been told of the day’s plans, and were looking forward to it; mostly to the bribe of going to the local pizza joint after church.

Jumping upon the amorphic forms, they gleefully announced their presence. “Daddy, Mommy, it’s time to get up!” they loudly yelled. Soon deterred by the foul moods of their parents, they retreated to the altar of the television and the communion meal of bowls of cold cereal.