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Posts Tagged ‘church passion play’

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Many, many years ago, we were upstanding members of an up-and-coming megachurch in the Portland metro area. Pillars, I believe the word was. Mostly, we were the lackeys who did the work while others got the glory, but that’s OK. If we hadn’t been the lackeys, I would not have this story to tell.

Pastor came to me and asked if I could find a lamb for Easter Service. A living, breathing lamb. I guess he thought I could create a miracle and find someone who would loan me some poor lamb, separated from it’s mama for 48 hours, just so he could create a visual explanation of Jesus as the Lamb of God.

I knew – because I grew up in sheep country – that lambs were already a few months old. We’d be lucky to find a small one. I also had a source, and I called him up. He made arrangements with his aunt, and I was soon in custody of a pure white, very frightened, and un-weaned lamb. I had a bottle, formula, and nowhere to keep the critter.

We lived in a singlewide trailer and we stuck said lamb into the bathroom to keep it away from the dog, cat, and to contain all the little pellets in one space. The lamb cried all night. It got diarrhea. It wouldn’t take the bottle.

We got the lamb to church, but it was hardly pristine. I hid it in the dressing room for the baptisms, and I gave it a much-needed shower. It still had diarrhea and it was still refusing the bottle.

Pastor wore a white shirt. His wife came to me and told me to make sure the lamb was clean because we didn’t want any thing to soil Pastor’s shirt. I thought… “Seriously?”

Somehow, that lamb managed to make it’s debut in front of a crowd of 5,000 without shitting. It stayed calm in the pastor’s arms and only bleated a couple of times. It’s five minutes of glory were over and it pooped all over the shower. I scoured, cleaned, and loaded the poor thing up in my car, and beat it back to where it came from post-haste.

No happier lamb has ever been known than that one when it saw it’s mama and real food.

In retrospect, I think I should have told the pastor that I couldn’t find a lamb, and just accept the blame. Oh, but NOOOOO – we had to be good little servants. I consider having to clean the church shower and my own bathroom as penance.

I don’t attend that church anymore. Actually, it doesn’t exist anymore as the pastor packed up and moved on to a bigger and better location. God bless him.

Lessons learned? I’m not a good substitute for a ewe, but I can calm a frightened lamb. Lambs can shit a lot. Lambs are sweet.

And never, ever, confess to a lamb that you love chorizos and gyros. My lamb went home ignorant of my Other Side.

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