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"Pray for my Poppy and Mummy, please, 'cause they're dead, you know."

I looked at the woman in the last row, short of stature, shortened further by age. Her lips, unhindered by teeth, quivered slightly, and her eyes betrayed an almost frantic fear that I might not grant her request. Poppy and Mummy, huh? No pastor should ever be made to say words like Poppy and Mummy in public prayer.

I smiled patiently. "What were their first names, dear?"

Her eyes grew wide, presumably in surprise that I should ask so foolish a question. Crossing her legs and folding her arms, she straightened her bowed back in the institutional, stackable poly-chair (14 decorator colors available), and said, "Why, Poppy and Mummy, of course!"

Of course. "Any other prayer requests?" Those seated before me frowned slightly, scanning their memories for friends troubled by illness, children threatened by divorce, death anniversaries.

No others. Just Poppy and Mummy.


This is my other congregation. This is the Society ...

From Issue:Spring 1994: Worship
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