by Troy Moore
George A. Straley tells about the sexton of a big city church who was puzzled, for every week he had been finding a sheet of blue-lined book paper crumpled into a small wad lying in the corner of the same rear pew. He smoothed out one of the little wads of paper and saw it had several penciled words: “Clara ill, Lester, job, rent.”
After that the sexton began looking for the paper wads weekly and discovered they were always there after every Sunday morning service. He opened them all and then began to watch for the person who sat in that particular corner of the pew.
It was a woman, he discovered, middle-aged, plain but kind-faced and unassuming. She was always alone. The sexton told the pastor what he had observed and handed him the notes. The pastor read the cryptic text with furrowed brow.
The next Sunday he contrived to meet the woman at the church door as she was leaving and asked her kindly if she would wait for him a moment. He showed her the notes and enquired gently about their meaning.
Tears welled in the woman’s eyes. She hesitated then said softly, “You’ll think I am silly I guess, but I saw a sign among the advertising posters in a bus which said, ‘Take your worries to the church and leave them there.’ My worries are written on those pieces of paper. I write them down during the week, bring them on Sunday morning, and leave them. I feel God is taking care of them.”
“God is taking care of them,” the pastor said softly. “Please continue to bring your worries and troubles to the church and leave them there.”
So to be rid of your worries, simply take them to the Lord and leave them there.
– From an unpublished collection of illustrations by Troy Moore.