The playground behind the church was a magnet when various church and community activities were happening. Such was the case on the day of the community yard sale, where the congregation allowed anyone to utilize their facilities for the selling of their stuff.
The youth group hosted a car wash in the front parking lot. The women's group were selling baked goods, the men were leading competitions in horse shoes, badminton, and the senior citizens were sitting about under the funeral home tents sharing stories of how it used to be.
The parson was one the playground building relationships with the future members of the Staff-Pastor-Parish relations committee. Among those were three Hispanic kids who were romping about in a game of Follow the Leader. At the current moment the game involved rooting up the slide tube on the stomach in a manner resembling an inch worm. At the top the parson then proceeded dance across the top of the apparatus to the slide on the other side where he then slid down with a laugh. The children followed, with the exception on one child of perhaps four years.
“Come on, honey,” the parson called from the bottom. “You can do it.”
Steve Dexter, one of the more gruff members of the community, watched the parson and his frivolity. Steve was not a member of the parson's church. He belonged to an independent congregation that was two clicks right of radical right.
“Don't know why the hell you're talking to them illegals, Parson,” he offered. “Not a one of them speaks English. Every damn one of them is oblivious to every word you say.”
“Oh, that's really nuts, Steve,” said the parson. “We understand each other completely. A smile and a laugh, Steve, is always mufti-lingual.”