A Sermon Interrupted
The following is circulating among clergy on the Internet, and was sent to me by a friend. I am not the author, and it did not happen to me. – Tony
I once was a student pastor in a little country church way up on top of a mountain. The piano was an old Ivers and Pond that had at one time been a mechanical “player-piano”, and it was about as bad a sanctuary piano as I have ever seen.
The pianist was about the calibre of the instrument and so each Sunday during worship for the fifty years previous they had only sung three of the twelve songs she could play (one of which was Silent Night). In order to get any sound out of the old piano you had to open the doors on the front where the player mechanism used to be and pound away. The pianist was a large woman with bad knees and so she always stayed at the piano through the sermon.
One Sunday a little mouse came OUT of the front of the piano, jumped down on the keyboard and right into her lap. I do have to say I never saw an elderly woman who usually moved slow move quite so quick – and she screamed, and ran to the middle of the aisle, to the warm morning heater that is where the old coal stove used to be, and stood there whimpering.
Another parishioner, who I doubt would have been scared if the devil had jumped out of the piano, grabbed a broom out of her Sunday school area (which would have been the choir loft if we had had a choir) and began to chase the mouse across the chancel area. Wham! Wham! Wham!
I was STILL trying to preach.
I suppose the mouse got tired of being chased back and forth across the chancel and headed down the Aisle right toward the pianist. She began to go “Oh! Oh! OH!” and raised her foot with each OH, stomping the other one down to keep from falling over, and yes ... the mouse ran right UNDER her foot. It never knew what hit it.
That was the end of the sermon that day. I was too shocked to continue preaching, and she was too traumatized to play the last hymn, and the other parishioner was digging around in the piano to see if there were any other mice in there. We just took the offering, sang the doxology a capella and went home.