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Resignation, Part 4

This is a work of fiction.  The other parts to this story can be found as follows: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Paul  made his way away from Fox Creek up the hill .  To his left was a beaver dam that had his old entryway blocked.  He moved toward drier ground and then would circle back to where he loved to hunt.  It slowed him down getting to where he would wait, but it was fine.  He was in the woods and it would be a beautiful day when the sun came up.

He walked approximately a quarter of a mile to where he liked to hunt.  He found a spot where a tree had fallen beside a rock.  He nestled in eager hoping the tree and rock would help disguise him from the deer.  In front and below him sat a rock in a hollow.  He had seen deer from this spot before funnel down in front of the rock.  It gave him a great chance to move into position when they came back into sight from the other side.

A year ago he wouldn’t have been hunting on Sunday.  He would have been teaching his Sunday school class.  A pang of what hit him?  Guilt?  Perhaps.  Regret?  Possibly.  He certainly would have loved to have still been teaching his class.  He loved to dig into the Bible during the week and create a lesson to share with everyone else on Sunday mornings.  He loved to hear the discussion that ensued, even when he did not agree with the others’ take on what he was teaching.  He had seen a few people grow and dig into the word themselves.  That was what made him happier than anything else.

He had been blogging for a couple of years.  He had done it mostly in anonymity, with very few people, if any, actually reading what he had to say.  He had discovered that he loved to write and wrote about all things involving the church.  He wrote a few pieces that he thought were satirical and that’s where things had begun to go bad.  A person or two in the Sunday school class had discovered his blog.  One had even called him upset over one that, in retrospect, he wished he hadn’t written.

He had wanted Donald to leave the church for some time.  He had felt that Donald was just biding his time until he retired.  It seemed to Paul that Donald was just going through the motions.

Others had noticed this as well and many of them talked amongst themselves about it.  Still others thought loved Donald and thought he was doing a good job.  A division within the church was definitely beginning to develop.

Paul definitely felt like a new direction was needed.  He wrote in general on his blog about the what type of direction he wanted in church, any church.  He did not point at anyone in particular, but evidently several believed that he was writing about their particular community of faith and their pastor.  Unbeknownst to Paul, what he was writing was making the rounds through the church and upsetting a few people, none the least, Laura.

One morning during Sunday school, Bill announced that he would like for the entire class to meet one night to discuss the direction of the church and what they as a class could do about it.  The time was agreed upon and everyone met at Bill’s house.  After some discussion, Bill announced that they would approach Donald to discuss where the church was headed.  After much discussion, the class wanted Bill and Paul to lead in approaching the pastor.

Paul said no.

While he definitely wanted Donald to leave and a new direction to the church, he was content to wait it out.  He felt like God was in control and would move the situation along in His time without his involvement.  He simply wanted to teach his class, write his blog, and pray for God to move the church.

He noticed a change almost immediately.  A few class members did not show up the following Sunday.  Even more the next.  These were all members who did not normally miss.  To add to Paul’s consternation, they were at church for the service.  He even began to notice the strange looks some people in the church gave him.  More and more, folks were avoiding him.  The the bombshell was really dropped on him.  The Education Committee wanted to meet with him.

Paul entered the meeting with no idea what was happening.  It was time to select positions for the coming church year, but that was just normally rubber stamped and everyone went about their business.  This time was different.  As he entered the meeting room, he could feel the eyes of all the committee members bearing into him.  Donald was there, but he would not look at Paul.  Paul felt like he was marching in front of a war tribunal.

The chairman of the committee spoke.  He said that he understood that Paul was trying to lead a charge to remove Donald as pastor through his writing of his blog and his Sunday school class.  He described Paul as a disruption to the unity of the church and they felt as though they had no choice but to remove him from his position of Sunday school teacher.  There was no response when Paul tried to give his side of the story.  They simply said the decision had been made and dismissed him.

Paul was devastated as he drove home.  His mind was a million miles away when his cell phone began to ring.  It was Bill.  Bill told him that they the deacons needed to meet with him one night this week.  Paul felt the body shot as Bill said this.  He asked Bill what it was about.  Bill simply said that they had been informed about the decision of the Education Committee and needed to talk to him about it.  Paul could not believe what he was hearing.

Paul arrived home and sat in his truck unable to move.  He needed to go into the house and tell Leslie what had happened, but he simply sat there.  He prayed.  He cried.  He prayed and cried some more.  Finally, he went in.  Leslie simply hugged him when he told her the news.  They talked and prayed about it together.  Finally, they knew what they had to do.

The next morning Paul called Bill on his way to work.  He told Bill that he would not be meeting with the deacons.  In fact, he told him, he would resign from his deacon position.  He told Bill that he and Leslie would be leaving the church.  He also told Bill what he thought of how he had manipulated the situation to make it seem that Paul was the bad guy in all of this.  Bill tried to act indignant, but Paul would not give him a chance.  He said his piece and hung up.

Now, a year later, he and Leslie were still without a church and he was deer hunting on a Sunday.  He would not have believed it a year or so beforehand.

He heard a crack and there she was.  A doe following the trail he expected.  He watched walked down the hollow just as he thought.  He passed the rock and continued on her way.  Paul waited.

Five minutes or so later, the buck arrived following the identical path the doe had.  He seemed to be in no hurry.  His pace was slower than the doe as he would walk a while, then stop and look.  His gaze seemed to fall on Paul several times, but he seemed to not know that Paul was there.  Finally, he walked behind the rock and Paul got ready.  After what seemed an eternity, the buck emerged on the other side of the rock.  Paul was ready and gently squeezed the trigger.  The buck took about steps running and fell.  Paul watched the buck for several minutes before he walked to where he lay.

It had been a good hunt.  Now he had a dead deer on his hands.

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