As a student pastor, I had different assignments each week. On Pentecost, I was to read the prayers of the Faithful. Halfway through, I could sense something was wrong. When I looked out into the congregation, I could see people moving closer together. This was a contemporary church and there were no regular pews but movable ones, so the configuration of pew chairs wasn’t always the same.
Then, I saw it.
Skipping. Stopping. Hopping again right toward ME!
Laughter erupted from the congregation. I realized it was not the mouse, but me perched high on a chair next to the pulpit with my robe hiked as I high as it would go. Thankfully, I was wearing slacks.
One of the ushers scooped up the mouse and took it to the opened church doors (it was hot and all the doors were open). Jim (the pastor) rescued me from the heights, but the laughter in church continued. Jim said to me, “Get back on the horse.” At first I didn’t know what he meant. Oh…yeah, finish reading the prayers. I couldn’t. The laughter broke out more and more and it was contagious and I started laughing.
Jim, thank heaven for a pastor like Jim. He knew there was no going forward. He went to the mic and said, as he choked with laughter…”This is Pentecost…The Holy Spirit is trying to tell us something. We’re going to have a birthday party. Charlie…go to the Italian Bakery…Mike, help him. Get enough pastry for everyone.” Laughter was still alive.
Jim could see my distress and said to me, “You’re never going to forget how the Holy Spirit came this morning!”
The pastries arrived. The aroma of fresh coffee was present.
We all stopped. There was wind outside. The Holy Spirit was on her way to another party.
Pat Pickett, OblSB