Benjamin from Brothers Campfire here. Gather ‘Round as I spin a tale.
Church was peaceful. I kind of liked it.
While rather chilly out, the baker had left his ovens hot for the church folk to warm their food in, making an outdoor picnic just right.
My parents brought a pre-roasted bird, potatoes, and dried apple pie, all my favorites.
While I enjoyed it, I wished I was home sleeping and said as much. My parents ignored me.
Just as I was about to throw a wonderful tantrum, Jabez my cousin came over.
“Want to play with us?”
“Nah, I am too tired.”
“Didn’t you just get prayed for?”
“Yeah, but it didn’t work.”
“It’s because you are ungrateful for everything I’ll bet.”
“That’s not very nice. You are mean, Jabez.”
“Don’t you want to play with the other children?”
I thought about it for a moment. At the time, I knew I had a lump on my belly, but I could hide it most days. I felt fine, but I just wanted to be left alone for the most part.
“Yeah Jabez, I would like to play sometimes. I just don’t have the energy. It is hard.”
“and I would be thankful if I had more energy”
Jabez was thoughtful.
“Tell the Preacher that.”
So, I went on up to the Preacher, who was eating with his family.
His voice was calming.
“Hello Walter! It is nice to have you at church and at the picnic today!”
“Thank you,” I said quietly.
I stood there awkwardly and he went back to eating, smiling at me the whole time.
“Would you like a piece of salted venison Walter?”
“Yes sir!” I exclaimed, and he invited me to sit with them.
I had never eaten venison as it was the portion of the royals, and in addition, my father did not hunt them as a family tradition I was not familiar with.
Most of the meat we ate was very spicy, and this was not. It was smooth and firm, tasting of acorns and herbs.
I did not know how to address the man, so I gathered my courage and did my best.
“Preacher man, thank you for the venison sir. It was most tasty, but I came to ask you a question if it is ok with you.”
The Preacher man smiled and nodded.
“Ha ha, Walter! Your father called me Preacher Man when he was a boy. What is your question?”
“I see the other boys working hard with their dad’s and I cannot, and do not feel like it. My parents say I have a hernia and I make them mad a lot. I would be thankful if this were different.”
“Being thankful is good. Do you believe it will happen?”
“That makes me happy Walter. Now you had better go and find your parents before they have to start looking.”
We had church twice that day. All the while, I felt bad that I had been mean to my parents and said as much to them. When we got home, I went straight to bed. I resolved to be nice to my parents, work hard, and be more thankful, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy.