Bitter Lemon Grove
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Bitter Lemons 60

Clergy Wanted

Lemon GroveFrom this multi-color amaryllis in Brawley, I journeyed to the lush green and yellow swaying citrus groves of the town of Lemon Grove, near San Diego. The famed bitterness of its lemons was evident in Lemon Grove Episcopal Church congregation too. Except that I was their problem! The Church had nothing against me personally but they really wanted a clergyman instead of a Church Army Evangelist. I tried my best but everything I did was wrong. It all finally came to a head when two Church Army friends and a marine came to visit my little apartment in the parish.✞

Pot Luck Supper

It was the occasion of the Church Pot Luck Supper. People were talking happily, delicately balancing cardboard plates piled high with turkey, ham and potato salad. Most were catching bits of conversation and gossip between bites. On the far side of the crowd, the church treasurer was eying me carefully over his spectacles and began to push his way across to where I stood. We exchanged polite introductions. "You ought to know what people are saying," he whispered secretively. "It isn't right for four of you to be living in our parish apartment together!" Surprised for an instant, I smiled, then delicately replied, "You know, the Church Army does not always see things like the clergy. We might even have black people staying there in the future." At these words, the color seemed to drain from his face and with a faint smile he turned away and faded into the crowd.✞

"Bitter Lemon Grove"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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