Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Uninvited Visitor-A Story

The small Ozark town where I live, is nestled in the beautiful Current River Valley. Sprinkled within and around its borders are numerous quaint little country churches, where families large and small, gather together for Sunday worship services.

A few years ago, on a lovely Spring morning, I attended one of these Sunday services at a friends’ church. Tall, spreading oaks surrounded this lovely small, white church. The windows had been opened to allow the breeze to enter, and to my delight, we sat in the third pew on the left, near one of the open windows.

A small congregation of about forty people settled down and soon joined forces in praising the Lord with a hymn. Directly in front of me sat a family of four: mother, father, grandmother, and a young boy, who was about five or six years old. He had hair the color of straw, and the voice of an angel, for he sang along quite loudly and sweetly, knowing all the words of the hymn.

The minister walked up to the pulpit to give the sermon. "Today," he began, but was quickly interrupted by a cheerful and loud sound that rang throughout the little church.
Chirp! Chirp! Chirp!

"Well, it seems we have an uninvited visitor among us, this morning," the minister said, bemused but somewhat annoyed at the interruption.

Chirp! Chirp!

The sound rang out again and a murmur rose as the congregation glanced around, searching for the culprit. The little boy quickly turned to his left, then to his right. He looked directly behind him and then glanced up at us, his face intense. I couldn’t help but smile.

"As I was saying..." the minister began again.

Chirp! Chirp! Chirp! The uninvited visitor continued singing loudly.

Soon, everyone was looking to our side of the church. The uninvited visitor was somewhere in our vicinity. People glanced under the pews, feet poised to eradicate the noisy little bug.

Chirp! Chirp!

"There he is," whispered an elderly man directly in front of the boy, his foot thrusting forward. But just before his shoe could come down on the black chirper, the little boy dove under the pew noisily.

"Brian! What are you doing?" his father whispered loudly.

Despite his father’s reprimanding tone and his mother’s attempt to pull him back, the boy wriggled forward and captured the noisy critter.

During the commotion, the grandma, apparently aware of the workings of a the young boy, smiled tolerantly.

‘I got him!" Brian announced loudly, as he emerged with tightly cupped hands. "He is just doing what crickets do. I’ll take him outside and let him go. He shouldn’t be squashed just for doin’ what crickets do."

The boy hurried down the isle toward the back door, keeping his hands tightly cupped. As he reached it, someone opened the door for him and he disappeared.

By this time, everyone in the congregation was smiling and nodding. The minister waited until the boy came back inside and rejoined his family in the pew. Then, with one last smile directed at the lad, he returned to the service without anymore interruptions.

With a sparkle in her eye, the boy’s grandma leaned down and tousled his hair affectionately. "You’ve made the Lord smile this morning with your good deed, Brian."

Then, the boy with the straw-colored hair-obviously proud of his good deed- joined in the singing again, even more enthusiastically then before, while the uninvited visitor chirped gaily outside the small country church, where families gathered together for Sunday worship services.

First Published in-"The Rocking Chair Reader: Family Gatherings," by Adams Media, Copyright 2005.

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful week!

56 comments:

Nonna said...

That is such a sweet story! Thank you for sharing it with us this Sunday Morning!! The little cricket was singing hymns too!!

Karen H. said...

Good Morning Ms. Renie,
I really enjoyed this beautiful story you posted today. "THANK YOU" for sharing it with us on this Lord's Day. I hope you aren't flooded in today. The Sun finally came out here yesterday afternoon and it's suppose to be nice today. More rain is in the forecast again for Tuesday thru Friday. Is it going to end? I may have to buy a boat if it keeps up all this raining. I have somethings for you on my post for today. I do hope when you have time you will stop by and pick them up. Take care my friend and have a great day. May God Bless You and Yours.

Love & Hugs,
Karen H.

Susie said...

Hi Renie,
What a perfectly delightful and uplifting story for Sunday. Thanks for sharing it with us and my your Sunday be filled with blessings.
xo

Glo said...

Sweet story. It's amazing when little ones show God's love. All of us can learn how God wants us to live if we just lisiten to kids. I had a little 7 yr old in Sunday school today that new more about the Bible than most grown ups. She also offered up a very good prayer. Did this old heart good.

We're getting rain here today,also calling for some storms tonight. I have to keep reminding myself that April showers bring May flowers. We are starting to see green grass. Some have even mowed. I'm so ready for warmer weather.

May you have a blessed day,the way you post blessed ours.

Love and hugs,
Glo

Renie Burghardt said...

Nonna,

Hi Patti. I think you are right, he was! :-)

Thank you for coming by. We are having a beautiful, sunny, mild Sunday. I hope your Sunday is lovely as well.

Hugs,

Renie

Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Karen,

I just got home a bit ago. No, we're not flooded. We are having a beautiful, sunny, mid-60s day today. I have enjoyed it so much. Tomorrow promises to be nice as well, before more rain arrives for the region. Especially Wednesday and Thursday night don't look good, but I will pray that the severe storms miss us once again.

Thank you for the nice comment. I'll be over in a bit to see your newest posting, and find out what suprise you have for me.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Love and Hugs,

Renie

Renie Burghardt said...

Susie,

Thank you kindly, my friend. I hope you are having a blessed Sunday as well.

xox

Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Glo,

You are right, kids do show God's love in amazing ways. We adults can certainly learn from them!

Oh, you are already getting rain today? Well, it will be moving our way by Tuesday. With all this rain we have had, everything is very green, and the trees are budding, and fruit trees are blooming, and everything is looking beautiful, even though we've had more than enough of it.

Thank you for coming by, dear Glo. Have a blessed Sunday evening.

Spring Hugs,

Renie

audrey` said...

Chirp Chirp Chirp =)
It's a very lovely story.
Thank you, Renie.

Old Lady Lincoln said...

What a beautiful and sweet story. Thanks for sharing. Have a good evening and up coming week.

Renie Burghardt said...

Dear Audrey,

You make a cute little cricket! :-)

Thank you for coming by, my friend. Have a lovely week.

Chirp, Chirp!

Renie

Renie Burghardt said...

Thank you, Patty! Have a good week as well.

Take care!

Renie

Jmkdreak said...

I love that story!
Cute cute.

xoxoxox

Renie Burghardt said...

Thanks, sweetie!

xoxo

deborah wilson said...

A sweet story, Renie. Crickets are nature's natural musicians - so it's only 'natural' that they sing..:)

I've always heard that it is bad luck to harm a cricket; whenever they get into the house, I too put them back outside.

I hope you had a good week-end!

Merle said...

Dear Renie ~~ I so enjoyed your story about the cricket in church and the boy who rescued it. Great story, Thank you for sharing it with us.Thank you for your comments and I hope you had a lovely lunch with your friends after church. Glad you liked"Bring Your Fork" - ot is nice to think the best is yet to come. Glad you liked the jokes as well. I like the thought og brilliance coming with age. Means we are getting better the older we get. Nice thought. Take care dear friend, Love, Merle.

Renie Burghardt said...

Deborah,

Yes, they are. There are cultures that keep crickets as pets.

If they get inside my house, I usually have to rescue them from the cats, and put them outside.

Thanks for the nice comment. Have a good day!

Renie

Renie Burghardt said...

Dear Merle,

Thank you for the lovely comment about my story, dear friend. Have a wonderful week.

Love,

Renie

Leann said...

I loved that story.a person could also learn a great leason from it.in so many ways.some times a uninvited person may show up at a church.and the people will not exsept him.
I may write about it in my blog.
have a great week my dear God bless you.
((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))

Michele said...

Lovely story, Renie! I'm so glad you decided to share it with us. :-)

Enjoy your week!

Smiles,
Michele

Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Michele,

How are you? Still real busy?

I'm glad you liked the story. And I'm always happy to see you here.

Hope you have enjoyed our nice weather today.

Spring Hugs,

Renie

Renie Burghardt said...

Leann,

I am always glad to hear from you. Thank you for visiting and the nice comment. I look forward to reading your post about uninvited people in some churches. But everyone should be welcome in a church!

Have a wonderful week!

Hugs,

Renie

Beemoosie said...

What a lovely story Renie! It's a good reminder for me to look out for all of God's creatures that need a helping hand!!
~Blessings!

Renie Burghardt said...

Thank you, Bonnie!

Blessings to you as well!

Renie

hippochick said...

What a sweet story. In the summer we leave the doors to our church open and we've had birds, cats and dogs visit us during the service. Pastor usually just ignores them and they find their way back out.

Have a great week.

Renie Burghardt said...

We had a kitty come inside our church once, and it was no big deal. Made everyone smile. But a cricket is too noisy, I guess. :-)

Thank you for the nice comment, Pam. Have a great evening.

Renie

Pia said...

that made me smile too. =D

Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Pia,

I'm glad the story made you smile.

Hugs,

Renie

Karen H. said...

Good Morning Ms. Renie,
Just thought I would drop in and have a cup of coffee with you. I hope I'm not too early. Well, rain is back in the forecast for us again later on today and going thru possibly Friday morning. I'm either going to have to buy a boat or build an ark. Not alot has been going on around my part of the world lately. I did put up a new post this morning. Yesterday was a really nice warm day. I turned my A/C on yesterday afternoon and this morning turned the heat back on. LOL. Take care my friend and have a great day. I hope your Son made it there safely and I hope yall enjoy your time together. May God Bless You and Yours.

Love & Hugs,
Karen H.
"THANK YOU" for the coffee. It's always nice to have a cup of coffee with you.

Renie Burghardt said...

Good Morning, Karen,

I'm glad to see you this morning! Yes, we had a beautiful day yesterday, and I put the air on, too, in the afternoon. And now, we'll be in for more rain for several days. My son cut the grass yesterday. It's so green and growing like mad, from all the moisture. I did work a bit in the garden, yesterday afternoon, and even planted a few veggies already. Now, I'll be worrying about the storms on Wednesday and Thursday!

Thank you for joining me for coffee. I'll be over to visit in a bit. Have a wonderful day!

Love and Hugs,

Renie

Merle said...

Hi Dear Renie ~~ Thank you for your visit and kind comments. I am glad you enjoyed the "One Day at a Time"
words of wisdom and also the jokes which gave you some chuckles.
Our seasons have changed all right.
We are having cool sunny days, but the Winter is ahead. Whereas you have Spring and warm sunny days ahead.
Take great care, dear friend, Love, Merle.

Mary said...

Renie,

A beautiful story. This is one of yours I had not read before and I LOVE it. Amazing how the Lord works, even with crickets.

Thank you for sharing this adorable story. It certainly brightened my morning.

Blessings for a great Wednesday. Be safe and I hope there is no more flooding in your area.

Mary

Glo said...

You always have the greatest post. Beautiful story.

I just posted my first meme and tagged you. Hope you play along.

Have a great day.

Hugs,
glo

Nonna said...

Hope you had a fun day of shopping and lunch! Take care and have a great week!

SBTVD said...

Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the SBTVD, I hope you enjoy. The address is http://sbtvd.blogspot.com. A hug.

Renie Burghardt said...

Dear Merle,

Yes, we have Spring and all it's beauty to look forward to, and the storms that come with it as well. Time goes so quickly though, and before we know it, we'll be dreading winter again, while you are enjoying summer! :-)

Thank you for your always nice comments, my friend. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Love,

Renie

Renie Burghardt said...

Mary,

The little boy was determined to save the little cricket, and I think his gesture reminded everyone in that church that all of God's creatures are precious. Even a lowly cricket!

Thank you for reading and the sweet comment. Have a blessed evening.

Hugs,

Renie

Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Glo,

Good to see you again. I'll be over in a bit to read your meme. Thank you for your sweet comment, my friend.

Hugs,

Renie






Hi Patti,

I had a great day shopping and lunching with friends. Was gone a bit too long, and have some things to catch up with around here. But it was fun!

Hugs,

Renie

Renie Burghardt said...

sbtvd

Thank you!

Loretta said...

I enjoyed your story very much. I can't kill a cricket either. One night I chased one all over my bedroom before catching it. Thank you for the kind words on my blog.

loretta

Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Loretta,

Thank you for the nice comment on my story. Have a wonderful day.

Renie

Mike Golch said...

Thank you for shareing this story.Blessings your way.

Mississippi Songbird said...

I love tat story. Thank you so much for sharing it. God Bless you..

ancient one said...

I guess it is a Southern Thing. My husband will not kill a cricket either. Thinks it brings bad luck! (and it does to the cricket of course.) I noticed that Deborah has heard the same thing!!

I loved your story.

One Sunday morning in our church a mouse was running along the ledge of some lights on the sides of our church. At first I was listening so hard to the pastor that I didn't know anything was going on... then people were acting funny and some were snikering... So the Pastor announced that a mouse was running up by the lights. He disappeard for a few minutes and the Pastor tried to keep on with his sermon, but when the mouse showed himself again and started running along the ledge again he gave up... and said he was dismissing the service since he had lost everyone's attention..LOL

That night he announced that they had put "rat in a bag" (rat poison) out. We never saw the mouse again.

I hadn't thought of that in years until I read your story..LOL

Rosy said...

Thank you for sharing such a uplifting story which brighten my evening so far.

Nonna said...

You;ve been tagged!

Karen H. said...

Good Morning Ms. Renie,
I'm dropping in to have a cup of coffee with you this morning and to check on you as well. I woke up around 3:00a.m. this morning and had to go to the bathroom and noticed that there were several counties already under Tornado Warnings. We have been put under a Tornado Watch until 11:00a.m. this morning, but I'm sure that will be extended as the day goes on. Chris Castleman has already broke in to regular programming and talking about some of the Tornadic activity. I am really dreading today and tonight. This kind of weather just makes me very nervous. I know you will be keeping an eye on the weather today as well. Take care my friend and have a great day. I did put up a new post for today as well. May God Bless You and Yours. "THANK YOU" for the coffee. It sure taste good this morning.

Love & Hugs,
Karen H.

Merle said...

Dear Renie ~~ Just a quick message to tell you that I have left an award for you on my last post. I hope you enjoy it, although I think you already have it from Leann. Take care, my friend ~ you really are great and I do value you and your
friendship. Love, Merle.

Renie Burghardt said...

Thank you everyone. I'm dodging storms here. We had one severe storm go through already, and we are under a tornado watch. The air is warm and very unstable, with lots of wind.

Karen, stay safe! I'll be over later. I hope!

Take care everyone!

Renie

deborah wilson said...

Renie,

Later on, post and let us know how you are doing - looks like bad weather in your neck of the woods.
It won't reach Ga until tomorrow.

Renie Burghardt said...

Deborah,

Made it through the storms here, and all is well. We've had a lot of thunder and lightening and rain, and wind, but, thankfully, no tornadoes! So tonight, I hope to get some restful sleep, without worrying about tornadoes. Thank you for asking. I hope you get some good rain tomorrow, without any severe storms!

Have a great evening.

Renie

Merle said...

Dear Renie ~~ I am so relieved to know that the storms have passed and there were no tornados.
Glad you enkpyed I'm rich and the jokes and that you were pleased with the award. And it is true - - You're great and I do value you and your friendship. Take care, and get some rest. Much love, Merle.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

That’s a lovely story/parable, Renie! Thank you.

Renie Burghardt said...

Thank you kindly, Mr. Nick!

Blessings,

Renie

Tina Coruth said...

Renie,

I love this story! Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all acknowledged that the cricket, "...shouldn’t be squashed just for doin’ what crickets do"?!? Beautiful written. Thank you!

Hugs,
Tina

Renie Burghardt said...

Tina,

Where have you been? Long time no see! I'm glad you're back. Thank you for the nice comment on my little story. That little boy in that little church had a kind heart.

Hugs,

Renie