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Six Jolly Church-Goers

(With apologies to the “3 Jolly Welshmen.” This won 1st Prize at a FaithWriters' Writing Challenge.)

There were six happy church-goers, a-churchin’ they did go, Each one a dude with attitude, some good and some, not so.

There’s Gary Grump, Grizelda Gripe and Gordon Grouch there too, Then Charley Cheer and Sally Smiles with Barney Bold, I knew.

Now Brother Grouch’s car got smashed, he had to share a lift With Brother Grump and Sister Gripe, which made him rather miffed.

But Charley Cheer and Sally Smiles, they came to praise the Lord. They picked up Barney Bold as well. They’re all in one Accord.

A well-known speaker came that day, the car-park it was chockers. Detoured to distant, pot-holed streets – so lethal on one’s shockers*.

Bro Grump said, “It’s the Deacons’ fault!” Sis Gripe just gave a groan. Bro Grouch complained both loud and long, he won’t leave it alone.

But Charles was glad for any spot, and Sally Smiles said “YAY!” Bro Bold enjoyed the longer walk on such a sunny day.

When they arrived, the place was packed! “No room!” the ushers said. They offered them the Crying Room with noisy kids instead.

Ol’ Grump, he huffed “Not good enough!” Grizelda gave a sob. Bro Grouch he growled “Get more seats, or I’ll punch you in the gob!”

But Charles said “There’s still standing room!” and Sally Smiles said “Yeah!” And Barney said: “If we get tired, soft carpet’s everywhere!”

The songs began both loud and glad. The church was really rockin’. The congregation came alive. The neighbours they came flocking.

“Too loud!” then grumbled Brother Grump. “Don’t like it!” said Sis Gripe. Bro Grouch he carped: “Don’t know these songs! They’re just a load of tripe!”

But Charley’s hands were raised t’ward heav’n, and Sal swung from the rafter. While Barney shouted “Glory!” then was struck with Holy Laughter.

Once all the people settled down, the speaker then addressed them. His gentle, bold sincerity and love for Truth impressed them. “I once demanded privilege,” he said “Now I am thankful. Surrend’ring all our rights, our pride, there’s blessings by the tankful.”

The message was both strong and clear, much needed in this hour. One felt the presence of the Lord, Who came in grace and power. “It’s by God’s Grace,” the preacher said, “that we can be called ‘Saints’. Repent, now from your selfishness, and cease all your complaints.”

“Repent from what?” demanded Grump. Grizelda was offended. And as for Grouch, well, he stormed out before the message ended.

Bro Cheer and Sal together prayed, their tears were unrelenting, As Brother Bold fell on his face while, from his heart, repenting.

When church was done, three glowing faces went to find their car. “I just don’t get” mused Gary Grump “why they’re the way they are.”

Then Grizzie Gripe she stood and thought, for once, not so self-centred. It seemed as though some Truth had changed her heart since she first entered.

“Perhaps they win their battles ‘cos they’ve had their battle training: Their attitude of gratitude, while we’ve been just complaining.”

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