Posted by Terry S. (126.96.36.199) on June 22, 2000 at 11:41:28:
Love is Made Visible
"Who is responsible for this?" the Pastor asked.
"I can't believe that no one has taken care of it. I
have been getting phones calls for two days. I
don't know what to tell them."
For longer than anyone could remember, the old
Gospel Church atop the hill in Reddington Valley
served as a beacon for those who were lost. Not
just spiritually, but even as a landmark for giving
"Turn down Main Street and head toward the
brightest star in the sky. You can't miss it," a
traveler would hear.
You see, on top of the old church steeple was a
big bright star. It was all one piece and lit by a
huge light bulb. They actually had placed it up
there as part of a Christmas display and never
took it down.
But two days ago the bulb burned out. The entire
town was lost without it. It seemed that the locals
were all turned about at night. The confusion
started when someone passing through
happened to stop the mayor to ask for directions.
"I looked up and pointed to the star," said the
mayor. "It wasn't there. Thinking I was facing the
wrong way, I turned around and looked for it, but
couldn't find it. I think that guy is still riding around
Soon the phone started ringing at the Old Gospel
Church. People wanted to know what happened
to the star. The problem was, even the Pastor
didn't know. That star was just - always there. He
had no idea who kept it lit or where the light bulbs
were. That is, until the phone rang late that
"Pastor. I'm hoping you can help us," a man said.
"This is Chief Robertson. We just got back from
the Delaney house. We found old Jim Delaney
dead. It seems he's been dead about two days."
"I'm sorry. I must tell you that I'm not familiar with
the man," the Pastor said.
"Seems no one was," the Chief replied. "There
are no known relatives or friends available either."
"Well, if it's a burial service you are looking for,
I'd be pleased to do it," said the Pastor.
"That would be great. But there's something else.
I'd like you to come by in about an hour if you can.
The house is up the dirt road on Bishop's Hill,
across the valley from your church."
"I'll be there."
The Pastor arrived just as Chief Robertson
pulled in. "What is it you wanted me to see,
"Come inside. I think you're going to need this
As they entered the home, there were stacks
of unopened mail, along with various books
"Over here, Pastor. I believe this is for you."
There, on the mantle of the fireplace, was a box
with a small white envelope attached. It said,
"From the star keeper to The Gospel Church."
The note inside it read:
"To whom it may concern:
Back in 1950, my beautiful wife Mildred became
ill. I could not afford to place her in a home, so for
her remaining months on this earth, I took care of
her. Before her illness, she attended your church
every Sunday. It was so very frustrating for her not
to be able to attend once she got sick. But every
Sunday I would position her on the front porch so
she could see the church across the valley. It was
the Christmas someone placed a star on the
steeple. Every night, Mildred would say her
prayers while gazing out at that star. I had just
pushed her chair over to the window one night.
She was barely able to breathe, and as I pulled
the shade up, I heard her quietly say, "The star.
The star is gone." When I turned around, she
slumped over with one last sigh. The star indeed,
was not lit that night.
After her burial I approached the Pastor at that
time, and made a deal with him. I agreed to keep
the star lit for as long as I was alive, as a
memorial to my wife. So many people loved that
image during the holidays, that he agreed to it.
I am near my journey's end now. The church can
sell my property and all I own in exchange for a
favor. I have provided enough light bulbs in this
box to keep the star lit a few more years. The
key to the church door is inside this envelope.
Please find someone who can take on the task
of keeping the star lit after my death. I loved my
wife so very much. I want that star to serve as an
example of what love can be.
You can say you love someone, but it is not until
you show it, that love is made visible."
"When did you say he died, Chief?"
"Two days ago according to the coroner."
"That's when the star burned out, Chief."
"Consider it done, Mr. Delaney," the Pastor
said. "Consider it done."
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