Monday, August 3, 2009

Joshua

His demeanor never changed. You thought it would have by now, but no, he still smiles when you don't want to smile back, and his seriousness comes across as false and makes you want to laugh. His congregants did laugh. He lacked respect. I don't think he ever saw it, so it never bothered him. His children saw it, or more properly they initiated it by saying, "We don't have respect for you." This followed him, and therefore he lost the respect of others.
The preacher stood there in his tie and suit jacket, sweating in the summer heat, with a pulpit at his stomach and his hands slapping the air as he excited himself with his own speech. The text was on Joshua, from which he had named his second son. Son number two was bald and gangly, and acted as though both were a constant reminder. This young man sat in the isle pew twisting the hairs on his chin as he watched his father.
The preacher said, "Turn to Joshua 5" and then there was a long pause, lasting almost as long as the second son's patronizing smile. The preacher read his own thoughts as they coincided with Joshua 5. At Joshua's memorial for future generations, Joshua leans to his bald brother, and they share a snigger.
Does success merit respect, or respect lead to success? Respect is the success.
"God does not exist for us, we exist for God." The preacher was done. The lesson was over.

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