Michael Martin Murphey is a very gifted singer and songwriter. 

Perhaps, you might recall his first hit single “Wildfire.” The song was about a pony, and the inspiration for crafting the song came to Mr. Murphey in a dream.

But in 1990, Mr. Murphey chose to reinvent himself with the release of the album Cowboy Songs. This was a compilation of traditional songs and some new ones about the real lives of real cowboys out on the wide open ranges west of the Mississippi River.

I love that album. I would want it with me if I was washed ashore on some isolated island. The songs on the album made me laugh, cry, and ponder. 

I especially like Mr. Murphey’s version of “Tying Knots In The Devil’s Tail.” This song is actually based upon a poem written by a real cowboy from northern Arizona, Gail Gardner.

The song describes two cowboys who decide they need a break from working with cattle.

In fact one of the cowboys, Sandy Bob, declares:  “I’m tired of this cowography and allows I’m going to town.”

They go to town, get wound a bit too tight at the saloon, and on the way back to their cow camp they encounter the devil on the trail. 

Needless to say, the devil made an unwise decision to challenge two cowboys that late afternoon. Sandy Bob and Buster Jiggs didn’t finish him off, (too bad they didn’t), but they did leave a lasting impact on the devil.

Right about now, I can identify with Sandy Bob when he declared: “I’m tired of this cowography!”

Just maybe, you might be ready to shout out like Sandy Bob, in your loudest outside voice:  “I’m tired of the covidography!”

I can’t imagine anyone from any corner of the world who has not grown weary from the devilish impact of COVID-19. It is a mean demon— a robber of life, a master at disruption, and a divider.

Being a natural born worrier, covidography worries me. 

I worry about my family, neighbors, friends, co-workers, and strangers. 

I worry about those who have lost loved ones. 

I worry about people who have lost their employment and the tidal wave of hurt this has caused for them. 

I worry about how lives have been forever altered, and because of these changes people might not ever, ever recover.

I worry about the scramble to develop a reliable vaccine. I worry  that much needed protocols will be skipped or ignored in the race to find a profit.

I worry about the mental health of every person who is in the trenches with COVID-19 during all their waking hours. 

I worry about the mental health of people who are at their wits end trying to figure out how to survive.

I worry about students in school systems who will continue to fall behind in this environment.

I worry about the morale of teachers.

I worry about the capacity of churches to meet needs.

But, out of all of my worries related to covidography, here is what worries me the most:  division.

A long, long time ago, I can remember hearing a principal in a faculty meeting asking as the meeting was wrapping up—“Does anyone have anything for the good of the cause?”

Yes, I do. 

At this very moment, I fear that we have lost our collective desire to be a part of the good of the cause.

And to that, I want to be like Gomer when Barney issued him a ticket for making an illegal u-turn. 

When Barney hands him the ticket, Gomer mutters something under his breath. 

But, sparked by his frustration, Gomer shifts his demeanor and shouts at Barney what he had previously mumbled: “You just go up an alley and holler fish!!”

I want to holler at our covidography division something more vile than Gomer’s uncharacteristic outburst.

Where is our unity, our sacrifice, our good of the cause against this out of control tormentor? 

Why is it so hard for us to comply with a simple request like wearing a mask?

The non-Einsteinian answer is this:  selfish.  

I know I could be wrong, way, way wrong, but during World War II, if our leaders said to America—“we need your help, we need you to wear not one, but two masks outside your home at all times.” My heart believes Americans would have complied.

What’s the difference now?

We are selfishly divided.

We are not thinking for the good of the cause.

I will confess to you I have many, many, many selfish moments in my life, and I suspect I have more in me too. 

But, why would I want my selfishness to continue to allow covidography to have a trouble free path of destruction?

Don’t you, me, we, us want to be a bit like Sandy Bob and Buster Jiggs in their encounter with the devil?

Don’t we want to rough up COVID-19 by making its path more difficult?

Maybe we should ask the families of the 220,000 Americans who lost a loved one? Would that number be different if we chose to be more compliant rather than more selfish?

Here is another worry I have—what are we going to learn from covidography, what will be our takeaway?

What will be different the next time America is faced with such a crisis? 

Will we have the courage to see covidography as an opportunity to learn?

 Or, will we do like we have done with other troubles— barely survive, forget the good of the cause, and move on?

I pray the takeaway is more than this observation—you know whenever I wear my mask with my glasses on— my glasses fog up.

If that is our only takeaway, then we’re as good as dead—both now and in the future.

We can’t let that happen.

Sandy Bob and Buster Jiggs did not retreat from their encounter with the devil.

Currently, our selfish non-compliance encounters with covidography are not working. This unacceptable mentality will only allow for more death, disruption, and division. 

I am a poor mathematician, but in Hebrews Chapter 11, I count the use of the word “faith” at least 25 times. I too am a poor student of the Bible, but that chapter cites examples of faith in the lives of all kinds of people.

If America is to push back covidography, we need to find a way to renew our faith in each other.

Faith that we can work collectively and cooperatively for the good of the cause.

Sandy Bob and Buster Jiggs came together for the good of the cause.

Sandy Bob and Buster Jiggs had faith in each other.

They were not divided.

The devil could not handle the skills and tactics of those two cowboys.

Doesn’t covidography deserve a dose of what the devil experienced out on that trail?

I know the answer and so do you.

Our selfish division must stop.

Covidography loves our division.

Covidography can’t handle an America with faith and trust in each other. 

We are overdue to commit to the good of the cause.

Masks for covidography by Bill Pike

Hey God, I have proof.

Thursday, October 8 appeared to be a normal day at Trinity.

HVAC technicians were working on ductwork, vents, and ceiling tiles on the renovation of the Mastin Room.

Our grounds crew was mowing, edging, and gathering up leaves.

Trinity member, Mike Cross, was going to do some power washing for us. His wife, Teresa, volunteered for a tough assignment— weed patrol in borders along the Stuart Hall Road side of the building.

I was going to work on prepping areas on the front lawn for mulching. If the weather holds, we have some volunteers coming on Saturday morning to help with this project.

It took me a bit of time to get organized, but I eventually  started.

The beds under three dogwood trees needed to be edged and weeded before mulch could be spread.  From that work, I gathered several loads of turf debris in a wheelbarrow. 

As I wheeled those loads by the preschool students on the playground, a few would say:  “hi” and some would ask “what are you doing?” Sometimes, when I hear that question, I respond with—“I’m having fun.” I love seeing the puzzled looks on their faces with that answer.

My work continued into the midday Preschool dismissal. I witnessed the precision of this routine. Guided by Preschool staff, the parents and grandparents waited patiently as their precious cargo was handed off to them.

Seems,  it was after 12:30 when the tide of the day decided to shift. 

I had come into the building to check on a few things. I was walking back into the Preschool wing.

Just as I was on the first floor hallway, I thought I saw our Preschool Director, Katie Swartz, hustling out the exit door in the stairwell. It sounded like she yelled out my name, but I wasn’t sure.

I went to the next stairwell, and walked down into the basement floor of the Preschool. Now, I understood what had actually been the frantic holler of my name.


Lots of water was quickly covering the floor in the girls restroom. 

The flush valve on one of the toilets was stuck.

Rushing water was moving at such a force that it was spilling out of the toilet. 

Assistant Director for the Preschool, Mary Jones, and another teacher were there. They had taken old towels and constructed a dam. This was an attempt to keep the water out of the carpeted hallway.

To stop this flood, I needed to remove a metal cap. This was normally a simple unscrewing of the cap. I twisted the cap it kept turning and spinning.

I left the restroom, found our building caregiver, Ronnie Johnson, and asked him to get a carpet machine for removing the water.

I made my way to our tools. I grabbed pliers, a rubber headed hammer, and a large flathead screwdriver.

I hustled back to the restroom, the water continued to pour out. There was easily two inches on the floor.

I hit the area of the flush valve with the rubber hammer to see if that might stop the deluge. There was a nano pause, but nothing else.

I kept working on that spinning  cover cap.  Something told me to pull. I did, and the cap came off.

Now, I had access to the stop valve. I took the flathead screwdriver, inserted it into the head, and turned it clockwise as quick as I could. Thankfully, the water stopped.

Quietness returned as I sloshed through the water. Someone asked me if needed anything, and I said, “Get me a for sale sign for the building.”

Ronnie arrived. He helped me get started, and then he left to finish his cleaning checklist.

It took a while, but eventually all of the water was sucked up. All of that water wasted.  I thought some parched farmland or a firefighter out west would have loved that water.

Too bad that old bathroom didn’t have a floor drain. There is a floor drain in the HVAC closet beside the bathroom. 

I guess I could have grabbed a sledge hammer and knocked a hole in the base of the wall. But that would have taken more time and created another mess. 

After I mopped the floor with a disinfectant, I placed a box fan at the entrance, and started working to put tools and machines away.

For some reason, I am starting to believe that God doesn’t think I was properly baptized. Over the years, I’ve had some interesting encounters with water in this old building. 

Maybe, I should fax or e-mail him a copy of my baptism proof from Davis Street Methodist Church in Burlington, North Carolina. 

As unexpected and frustrating as this flood was for me, this little outing for ducks was nothing compared to what other people are trying to work through.

I think about the church member who was recently diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. She only has weeks to live.

Then there is the church member who is in the ICU at a local hospital with COVID-19. He is on a ventilator. His current prognosis is the uncertain day to day.

And there is the friend whose many years of marriage has unexpectedly unraveled.

And here is one more heart-tugger, a friend from high school who is quarantined with COVID-19 while her six year old grandson battles a brain tumor.

A misbehaving flush valve dumping water is nothing compared to what those nice, kindhearted people are experiencing.

So, God even though I can prove my baptism, you have made your point. 

Thanks for the help you gave me this afternoon, and thanks for the people who helped me. 

But, just as your son in a boat with his disciples stilled the waters from a chaotic squall on the Sea of Galilee, I would pray that in some way your presence might touch those friends I referenced here. 

They need you more right now than some old grump cussing a flush valve.

The infamous toilet with the stop valve cover resting on the radiator. Photo Bill Pike


My itty-bitty brain believes the “mute” button on the remote control for our television might be one of the greatest inventions.

I’m sure you are as curious as Curious George to learn why I believe this.

Well, it is simple.

It is the only time in my life when I have complete control over any politician running for office.

 When a political ad pops up on the screen, my quick draw is incredible.

My squelching of the mute button is so fast that it can’t be timed.  

Zap, the politician is silenced.

I want to counter the advertisement with these words: “I’m Bill Pike, an American, and I disapprove of this ad.”

In an article written by Mark Murray for NBC News, Mr. Murray states: “The latest projections estimate that $6.7 billion could be spent on advertising in the 2020 election.”

That’s correct, I’m not making this up 6.7 billion dollars.

I don’t know about you, but I think we have lost our minds.

And what is sad about this absurd amount of money is that some of the candidates spending these big dollars will not be elected. 

I assume that the companies who make these political advertisements are laughing  all the way to their bank accounts.

Bill Foster was a gifted college basketball coach. He coached Jim Valvano as a player at Rutgers. Before Coach K at Duke, Bill Foster in 1978 got the Blue Devils to the NCAA championship game against Kentucky. After Duke he coached at the University of South Carolina and Northwestern.

After his passing in 2016, I watched an internet tribute to Coach Foster. Lots of his former players were a part of acknowledging their appreciation for him.

One South Carolina player shared a story from a practice session. The second string players were scrimmaging the starters. Nothing was going right for the starters. They could not hit any of their shots.

Coach Foster noted this. He called time out, and asked for the ball. At that point, Coach Foster took the ball and dropped  kicked it high up into the empty tiers of the coliseum. Then he said, “Something is wrong with the ball, get another one.”

That’s the way I feel about our election process—we need a new ball. 

Here is my first recommendation—political advertisements can only air on television from 12 midnight until 6:00 a.m. I’m sure the mute button on our television remote will appreciate this break in action.

Next, we must stop spending 6.7 billion dollars for advertisements. With all of the real problems we are facing in America, can’t we find a better economical path?

As a part of the content in the ads, we must consider eliminating  the mudslinging. I think the mudslinging only serves to contribute more to our already negative incivility. 

Perhaps politicians, their advisors, and the production companies who create the ads need to take a course in Mr Rogers.

And while I’m whining about political advertising, I will whack at mailings and robocalls.

It has become increasingly clear to me that politicians or maybe the people who work for them have a difficult time reading. 

On three separate occasions this fall, I have requested in writing that my name be removed from a mailing list. Despite my diligence, political mail still appears. I do not read mailed political ads. They are tossed in the recycling bin.

We all know there is nothing quite like a robocall. I love their tricks. Like using our area code to make me think— oh, this might be someone I know. 

But, what is even more interesting to me is the cowardly nature of these calls. If I attempt to redial the number, I can’t be connected, the number isn’t available.

The other day I listened to the beginning of a call. It started: “Perhaps you know this is an election year.” 

Are you kidding me? The only way I could not know this is an election year is if I was frozen and buried in Antarctica.

And yet somehow, despite all of its shortcoming, imperfections, and blurred vision, I am still an American who wants me and my country to wake up.

What is even sadder to me, no matter a person’s political party affiliation, and no matter how a person will vote, deep inside our hearts we all know that what I am spouting off about is the annoying truth.

I am not the brightest guy in the world, but I worry about our inability to see this.

In William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, I love his words: “inexhaustible, endurance, heart, soul, compassion, duty, honor, and sacrifice.”

America, we must relearn these words.

We can’t “mute” them.

Flags of America, Virginia, Henrico County by Bill Pike

The Chipmunkshank Redemption: “That joker was fast!”

September 30 was stunning. Overnight, a front had brought wind and rain. The front pushed out lingering warm, humid air a leftover from summer.

At 10, I was scheduled to meet with our Kids Director, Jen Williams. She was in the initial stages of planning a couple of community events for young families with children. 

The morning was so beautiful, I asked Jen if she would be opposed to meeting outside. She agreed, and we sat on the front steps to the church’s Welcome Center. We socially distanced in the cool fresh air.

I had left the middle door to the Welcome Center propped open. Our meeting was going well. Jen’s plans would be a good alternative for families with young children.

But, in a blink the productiveness of that meeting changed. 

My body was positioned toward Forest Avenue. I couldn’t see the open door. 

Out of the corner of her eye, Jen had seen a chipmunk scamper across the brick pavers and enter the doorway.

She calmly stated to me, “I don’t know if you want to know this, but a chipmunk just entered the building.”

I got up, and thought in my mind this is just what I need today. I entered the Welcome Center. Sure enough, the intruder was present. 

I took a couple of steps to my right, and he took off heading toward the Preschool. He quickly crossed the threshold of the double doors entering that wing.

Student artwork drying on the ancient carpet rustled as he rapidly skirted over these freshly created masterpieces.

He made a sharp right turn into Room 200, and with his heart pounding, the chipmunk hid.

Luckily for me the room was empty. The students were out on the playground. I can only imagine the chaos my new friend would have created if the room had been full of students.

I stood frozen at the door way. My brain trying to figure out what to do. I wanted to sprint a way to get help, but if I left the room I would not know if he decided to stay put for a few minutes or escape to a room that was full of kids.

Finally, my brain told me to call the church office. I needed the bravest chipmunk searcher in the world, our chief building caretaker, Ronnie Johnson. 

In our office, Kim Tingler took my call and located Ronnie. And Diane Ladd notified the Preschool Director, Katie Swartz. It seemed like hours before they arrived at the room. 

Once we had a body to keep an eye on the room, I sprinted to get a dust mop. I figured the head of the dust mop would cover the door entrance. We could shut the door, put the mop head at the base to create a barrier in case our friend bolted toward the door. I was thinking containment.

So, we set that up, and Ronnie and I entered the room. I had the broom handle, and I used it to poke along the walls of the room where all sorts of hiding places existed. 

As I poked, I clanked against things making noise. Sure enough, a poke into to the back right corner of the room sprung the chipmunk. He was a blur, a streak of lightning.

The chipmunk zipped along the wall parallel to Forest Avenue, but he finally gave us a real break. The chipmunk entered the tiny restroom. 

However, he had plenty of cover in this space. A trash can, two cumbersome wooden steps, and the toilet created an obstacle course for me. I moved, and he countered my move.

Ronnie handed me a trash can to align on the floor in front of the door. I was in perfect position. I could see him, and he could see me. 

I was ready to nudge him into the trash can when that chipmunk disappeared. He vanished. Poof, he was gone.

Neither Ronnie nor I saw him scoot by us. It was like the floor had opened or a guardian angel for chipmunks had received a text from God:  “Hey swoop down into Room 200 at the Trinity Preschool, two old geezers have one of your lads cornered in a bathroom.”

Ronnie and I were stunned. We never saw the chipmunk come by us. 

We decided to recheck the room again. We poked. We moved furniture. We tilted and lifted things. But, we never saw the chipmunk.

If he was in that room, the chipmunk must have put on his nerves of steel. Or maybe, he was thinking—ok, I’ve got this. These two old slow geezers will never trap me. I’ll just let them think that I am Houdini or that God did send down a guardian angel to rescue me.

In truth, our evening building caretaker, Bobby, spotted the chipmunk back in the Welcome Center late in the afternoon. Bobby opened the same door the chipmunk had entered earlier in the day. However, Bobby can’t confirm that the chipmunk like Elvis had left the building.

I have rethought this intrusion quite a bit. 

I have asked myself what could I have done differently?

Well, for starters, I would have kept that door shut.

I wish I had grabbed a pair of gloves and a broom. Maybe I could have captured the chipmunk with those confidence builders.

But, the intruder has also made me laugh. 

That bathroom scene was a classic. I moved, the chipmunk moved. Ronnie was behind me coaching me. I would have liked to have seen our faces when that chipmunk vanished from the bathroom.

And, I will never forget Ronnie’s comment—“that joker was fast.”

Sometimes in the speed of life, we feel trapped.

No matter where we look—we see no options, no solutions, no way out.

Who knows, maybe the good Lord was using this encounter to point out to me—Hey, you knucklehead, there are lots of people out there who feel like a chipmunk trapped in a restroom. 

What are you going to do about it? 

How are you going to help them?

Maybe all they need is an open door, and an open heart.

The chipmunk’s point of entry, photo by Bill Pike

7:40 a.m. disgusted

The front that pushed through last night brought wind and rain. Thankfully, it blew out humid air that was making September feel like summer again.

This was a perfect morning to go for a run. The temperature was 59 degrees, clear blue sky, and the earth still damp from the overnight rain. 

But, I was disgusted with myself.

 It was taking me too long to get ready. The route I had been taking recently would put me on Westham Parkway heading north. Getting this late start meant more traffic to face. Yes, this was true, but I needed the run—my brain was swirling.

On the still damp road surface, some early fallen leaves had temporarily attached themselves. Some spots looked like they had been splotched  down with glue from first graders. 

Other spots along the way were crunchy with acorns. Those uncrushed, rain dampened acorns were as slick and slippery as an American politician.

I didn’t watch the first presidential debate on Tuesday evening. I sensed it would be ugly. The headlines I skimmed this morning confirmed the unpleasant event. And I think this is very sad.

An uncivil event like that doesn’t give me hope. I don’t know about you, but America needs a good dose of hope.

I keep thinking about my parents and their families during World War II. They made sacrifices for four long years. As Americans, it seems we are lost when it comes to understanding and applying sacrifice today. I think selfishness plays a role in that mentality.

Recently, I read Erik Larson’s book The Splendid and The Vile. Larson looks in depth at Winston Churchill, his family, and his leadership during the bombing blitz by Germany of England.

In those horrible circumstances, somehow, Churchill found the words to help the people of England to tough it out and hang on. Even when, the bombing was at its worst, they held fast.

I am certain that October, November, and December are going to be a challenge, and I pray that as a country we too can hang on.

As my old body rambles slowly through the neighborhood, I look for signs of hope. 

I see new life—recent spreading of grass seeds are now sprouting as  sprigs of green spire upward from spiked holes made by an aerator.

I marvel at the paths of the sunlight as it cuts angles through trees and between houses to cast the birth of a new day.

A rising sun peeking through trees photo by Bill Pike

Early morning sun angles a dogwood shadow by Bill Pike

And over on a quiet, straight stretch of Rock Creek Road, I admire the energy of a young girl who is sprinting down the old road without a worry in front of her mother.

On the weekend of November 30, 1940, Churchill’s first grandson was christened, and it was also the Prime Minister’s birthday. 

Toasts were made in honor of the grandson and Churchill. Something about the words spoken in the toasts touched Churchill, and he wept.

The author states that a call went out for Churchill to reply to the toasts. 

Larson wrote these words:  He stood. As he spoke, his voice shook and tears streamed. “In these days,” Churchill said, “I often think of Our Lord.” At that point, Churchill sat down, he could say no more.

In these days in America, I hope we are often thinking of Our Lord.

“we tried”

On January 2, 1961, episode #13 of the Andy Griffith Show aired. Titled “Mayberry Goes Hollywood” this show is about a Hollywood producer who comes to Mayberry. The producer is scouting locations for filming a movie.

Turns out, the producer likes what he sees in Mayberry. Friendly people, simple living, and scenery that meets the needs of the movie’s script.

You know Mayberry, word trickles out to its citizens. On the morning that the producer and his film crew arrive to start their work—Mayberry has changed. 

The people have transformed themselves and their shops into a downtown that resembles a gaudy tourist trap. Even Deputy Fife has a spiffy new uniform.

Mr. Harmon, the producer, isn’t happy. 

At a welcoming ceremony, in honor of this significant  milestone in Mayberry’s history, town leaders plan to take down a beautiful tree. And that’s when Mr. Harmon speaks up.

He gently chastises the mayor and his citizens. He wants the townsfolk and the storefronts to return to their normal appearances and routines.

Although there is some disappointment, the citizens listen. They head home to change out of their best Sunday clothes. Shop owners make preparations to remove the Hollywood inspired signage.

And the downcast Mayor, says to Sheriff Taylor:  “We tried to tell them didn’t we Andy.”

Of course, you know Mayberry well enough that it was Andy who “tried to tell them” not the Mayor.

Recently, I have started thinking about something I call the “reflective cringe.” 

This is when my memory goes way back, and I recall moments in life when someone tried to tell me something for my own good. Of course I didn’t listen. And when those reflective moments hit me, I cringe. 

I think to myself how could I have been so out of touch, unreasonable, impractical, selfish,  and downright stubborn?

Those parts of my life, I would like to have permanently removed. Like when the broken, fractured, crumbling section of a road surface are cut out and repaired.

Road surface on Westham Parkway photo by Bill Pike

Right now, America isn’t much different from that road surface. America is worn, weather beaten, fractured, and divided.

Natural born worrier that I am, America worries me. 

In truth, America scares me.

When I reflect upon America, I cringe. 

Because I see the same in America that I see in me when someone who cared about me, maybe even respected, or loved me—“tried to tell me.”

I see America as being like I am sometimes— out of touch, unreasonable, impractical, selfish, and downright stubborn.

On Saturday, September 26, the scripture reading in the Upper Room was from Mark Chapter 7 verses 31-37.

Friends of a man who could not hear or speak brought him to Jesus. Jesus was near the region of Decapolis. They want Jesus to touch him, to fix his impairments, to make him normal.

Jesus takes the man aside. Jesus puts his fingers in the man’s ears. Jesus spits and touches the man’s tongue.

Next, Jesus looks toward heaven, he sighs, and then he says the word “Ephphatha” ( f ah tha) which means “be open.”

Bible stories like this where Jesus in an instant restores the man’s hearing and speech frustrate me. I cringe.

I want to know why in our present day world things don’t work like that?

For example, why can’t God’s angels take hurricanes that pummel the Gulf Coast and force them to make a left turn? Steer the remnants of the storm northwest go drop 10 to 20 inches of rain on California, Oregon, and Washington instead of states that are already soaked.

At times I wonder has God given up on us?

Maybe God knows about Episode #13 of the Andy Griffith Show.

Maybe God is thinking:  “We tried to tell them didn’t we Jesus?”

Maybe our problem is “Ephphatha” ( f ah tha).

Maybe we are not being open in the way God needs us to be open.

On Thursday and Friday of this past week, I virtually attended the Leadership Institute at the Church of the Resurrection out in Kansas. 

One of the keynote speakers was the Reverend Michael Curry, Bishop of the Episcopal Church. 

Bishop Curry concluded his presentation by telling a story about two neighbors in Daytona, Florida. One neighbor was white and one was black. It is a story of chicken coop droppings, illness, chicken soup, and roses.

But, it is also a story of reflective cringing and how to “be open.”

The quiet, humble hero at the heart of that story was love. 

Despite how she had been treated by her white neighbor, the black neighbor follows the teachings in the Bible—she gives love to her ill neighbor.

The Commander Supreme recently steered me to read Charlie Mackesy’s book:  The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse.

I think this book should be required reading for the whole world.

Perhaps, in an indirect way, the book is about how to “be open.”

Here is a sample:

“I’ve realized why we are here.” whispered the boy.

“For cake?” asked the mole.

“To love,” said the boy.

“And be loved, “ said the horse.

Makes no difference if its Mayberry, Decapolis, Daytona, America, or the world, to change the challenges in front of me I must be open to love.

Let us pray:

Father of us all, help us to be open. Open to love our neighbors. Open to allow you to work on our hearts and the hearts of those who surround us each day. In your name we pray, Amen.

Author’s note this piece was used as devotion for the Outreach Sunday school class on September 27, 2020.