256 Words

O For the Wonderful Love

M. Stanley Bubien

I knew I shouldn't be playing "Amazing Grace" so loudly. But what self-respecting Christian is going to tell you to turn down a hymn at a Bible meeting?

"My favorite," I grinned, voice raised to carry above the music. "I love this singer, she's so wonderful. Wait till her version of 'Softly and Tenderly'!"

I couldn't hear it over the stereo, but Pastor James smacked his lips. He lifted the CD cover from the table. Completing his examination, he replaced it and rapped my shoulder, punching his thumb toward the kitchen.

I frowned, but followed.

Once inside, Pastor James clapped his hands together and tapped his knuckles against his puckered lips. "I'm not sure how---," he hesitated, furled his brow, and said, "You know, I've been told that singer's a lesbian."

"What?" I blurted. "You're kidding."

He shook his head slowly.

"I... but---" I clamped my mouth shut, having a sudden, unexpected revelation: I was playing a lesbian musician at a Bible meeting! And that wasn't even the worse part. Wiping palm down my eyes, I mumbled, "It's the only Christian CD I like."

"Your Classical---"

"Modern," I corrected. "Contemporary."

I stared at the floor silently as music drifted in, a breathy voice declaring "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness..."

"I guess I should take it out."

Pastor James rested a hand on my shoulder. "That's not..." his voice trailed off to a sigh. Drumming his fingers against my coat, he shrugged, "Can you just turn it down a little?"

Copyright ©2001 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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January, 2001
Issue #57

256 Words