Monday, September 25, 2017
Fire and Salvation Next Wednesday
"Do I want to?"
"Probably not", Mike said laughing.
She followed Mike outside and a piece down the block until the city park across the street came into view. There was a small crowd gathered around the edge of the park, Mike and Bunny edged their way through the crowd. Bunny wasn't sure if she wanted to commit suicide, commit homicide, or just go away . . . forever.
On the grass under the old oaks was Buck shouting,"Repent and yea shall be Free", "God can still save you before the end.", "He sent his only begotten son...."
In front of him was Winfred Walker in her period costume, bonnet and all, reading from Revelations, "Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name."
Buck yelled "Confess your sins and you shall be saved."
Winfred then read,"For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
Then, when Bunny thought it could get no worse, Buck started,"We have seen the end and it is not pretty. It is near. I had a visit from an angel of the Lord who told me our Lord Jesus will return, just as prophesied, in Matthew 16. But this angel went on to foretell that the fateful day will benext Wednesday. Our Lord and Savior will call the roll and take those who have accepted him into their heart with him into the great spaceship and we shall soar through the mighty gates of heaven." He paused for effect, then continued, "And the rest of you will be burn in the fiery gorges of Hell."
Winfred quietly added,"We ask anyone who wishes to have their sins washed from their soul and accept Jesus into their heart..."
Buck interrupted her, "And be spared the fiery gorges of Hell."
Winfred quietly continued, "come forward as Brother Buck offers a prayer of thanksgiving to our Lord God Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit."
Bunny whispered to Mike,"This is all I can take." She turned to return to the office. Then she heard Buck's voice bellow out. "Look - there goes a sinful woman who left me not once, but twice as an unbeliever that the Lord shall provide. There is nothing in that empty soul. She is not waiting for the spaceship to heaven. No, she is preparing for the fiery gorges of Hell. This is your last chance for a ticket to soar on the spaceship through those heavenly gates."
Bunny just kept on walking. Mike followed her. "Bunny, you do realize that none of those people are from here. Well, no one but Mrs. Walker and Buck."
"Why should I always feel like Hester Prynne in a Hawthorne novel?"
Mike laughed, "Bunny, you have no reason to feel that way."
"Easy for you to say. Buck is like a 3 day old fish. I can never get the smell off me. Why won't he just go away? Can't you arrest him?"
"For what? Preaching in public?"
"Being a danger to society. You know he's nuts. Now he proclaiming to world that God's sending a spaceship to take everyone to heaven next Wednesday."
"Wait, not everyone," Mike said seriously.
"Oh, that's right. Heathens like me will burn in the gorges of Hell."
"Bunny don't take this seriously. No one else does. No one pays attention to him. Look, there is an older lady dressed in antebellum attire reading Revelations along with this unshaven man, wearing tattered clothes, carrying a giant wooden cross on his back, shouting that God is sending a spaceship next week to get the 'saved' and whisk them through the gates of heaven?"
She just looked at him.
"Bunny, this is wrong on so many levels. Just ignore it. I just wanted you to see what was going on in case you heard something about it. Personally, I find it entertaining. I need to make sure I'm on duty next Wednesday so I won't miss the send off."
"Mike. . . !"
"If you cannot laugh about it, then you'll just go nuts. Now go back to work. And do not think a thing about this, OK?"
"OK," Bunny said and turned to walk back to the office only to run right into an older lady who had been watching the show.
The lady, not embarrassed at all, asked, "Excuse me, but what is this all about."
"This is an example of the freedom of speech and freedom of religion being practiced in downtown Gallagher," Bunny said sarcastically.
"Well, I understand that. But I was wondering if you knew where the spaceship was going to land on Wednesday. I want to be first in line."
"Mam, you need to ask that gentleman who was speaking to the crowd."
"The one with the heavy cross."
The lady just turned and headed toward Buck in a fast pace, shouting,"Beam me Scotty!"
Next she ran into Buzz. Bunny shook her head,"Buzz, can your believe this?"
With a straight face, Buzz said,"I feel the spirit. Oh, this is the biggest one I ever [heard]. You hear that Elizabeth? I'm coming to join you honey."
Annoyed, Bunny just looked at him, "You watch too much TV!"
Once again she started toward her office
"Hey, where are you going?"
"To find some flame retardant clothing. After all, since I don't have a ticket on the spaceship, I better prepare for those fiery gorges."