Covering my angst with the soothing wisdom from my mother's prayer journals

The Skunk in the Organ


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On a recent Sunday morning my life-long friend, Ann Cocktale, decided to warm up the rarely used church organ in her small country church hoping her talented pastor would take the hint and bless the faithful congregation with a prelude before the morning sermon.

Ann began a lively rendition of “I’ll Fly Away” when a scratching noise erupted from the base of the organ.

“A mouse,” she thought as she began the second verse, but by the time she arrived at the chorus the scratching was easily heard in the first pew. “Possibly a whole mouse family,” Ann mused and hurriedly dismounted the bench.

By the time her feet hit the floor, the scratching was so frantic that the whole congregation looked uneasy because back in the spring the elder charged with opening the doors each Sunday smelled a skunk when he entered the building.

Proceeding to the restroom, he reached for the room spray and returned to the sanctuary where he vigorously attempted to replace the skunks’ smell with Scent of Lilac.

Monday morning he called a local exterminator who put out traps and, after catching the same cat three different times, managed to dispose of the skunks and fumigate the church.

That recent experience was on the minds of the whole congregation who as one body decided the skunk, now obviously dwelling in their organ, was determined to get out.

The scratching intensified to sonic proportions as Ann galloped to the back of the church and the “menfolk” armed themselves in preparation for an impending Armageddon. The clamor was unnerving.

The holy warriors settled on a strategy that included mop and broom handles and they were about to launch an attack when the wisest among them had a revelation and yelled, “Wait a minute!”

Cautiously approaching the organ, he climbed up on the bench, reached out his hand and flipped off the organ switch.

There was an instant silence. Apparently the noise was coming from the worn out speakers of the old unused instrument.

Mother wrote in her journal, “Today as in Bible times, spiritual victories come through a continually renewed relationship with Him. Keep that relationship new and fresh with a daily practice regime of Bible study and prayer.”   

Ann’s fellow worshippers got a big laugh out of the skunk in the organ, but Ann said, “It reminded me that unless I do stay close to Him, I could very well become a noisy mess – just like that old organ.”

Author: marymcleary

Grateful for so many things, especially the peace He gives and the opportunity to tell it to my kids, grandkids and anyone else who wants to listen. Many read my first book In My Mother's Words, and I have recently published my second book, Heart Whispers from the Old Testament. Both are the result of the prayer journals my mother gifted me her last Christmas. Those journals were full of the wisdom of a Faith Walker and had to be shared.

2 thoughts on “The Skunk in the Organ

  1. i loved it! As I read it, it brought back memories of a little church in the Tomato community outside of Blytheville, Arkansas where my uncle served as Pastor. One of those memories was about those huge mosquitoes. My parents expected their three little girls to sit and be ladylike. However, as much as we feared a spanking from Daddy, we girls agreed and together we slapped, waved, blew or used whatever means to keep those monsters from biting us.


    • Ann, another little church had to meet outside one spring because of the skunk smell inside their church. They liked it so much they had “Skunk Sunday” every spring. Thanks for taking time to read the post.


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