Magazine article The Christian Century

Guest of Honor

Magazine article The Christian Century

Guest of Honor

Article excerpt

And if I'm not, who will be? Certainly not my little sister, she who can spend an entire Afternoon petting the cat and gazing at the clouds. Can't boil an egg, that one, not that She's ever volunteered.... Still, Mary's sweet enough--too sweet, the way she lets the Hired help take liberties and talking to them as if they're members of the family. Once I overheard her asking Tabitha (as simple a country maid as ever scrubbed a pot) if she Thought animals had souls! "Well, Miss, I can't say for certain, but I'd like to think they Do," she says. Then screwing up her face, "Except for toads and snakes and such."

Anyway, managing as best I can with a pack of sluggish servants and a daydreaming Sister underfoot, how could I have seen that rebuke coming? True, he's famous for his Rebukes--more than one pharisee's found himself red-faced and sputtering after being Compared to a viper or a whitened sepulchre. But all I'd been trying to do was get old Rachel to spread the tablecloth (nearly deaf she is, so I'd had to raise my voice a bit), And suddenly he's wagging a finger in my direction, and Mary curled up at his feet Like a puppy, gazing at me with those moony eyes almost as if she's embarrassed for me.

It was all I could do to hold my tongue; there's the matter of one's reputation, after all! …

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