An Allegory



Having fun at rehearsal for our 50th.  Missing one grandson who was sick but in the pictures the next day.

January 3, 2017
Pastor Harold and Laila Bare

An Allegory

The community was small and rural. The birth of a child was cause to celebrate. A boy.
The family’s first child.

Three years passed until another family rejoiced to have a little girl. 

Quite naturally the boy and girl grew up together. More like big-brother and little-sister, though no kin. From running through mud puddles they progressed to teenage years of riding horses, fishing, and other sports. No movies. No skating rinks or putt-putts. If they went to a big city it was with the family [together] for a day to get necessities not available where they lived.

As they grew older he was tall and handsome. She was petite and drop-dead gorgeous. He dreamed of her. He dreamed of marriage. But she was only 15 when he was drafted into the army. The hug goodbye was more like a brother and sister. He wanted to kiss her for the first time. Not the first time he wanted to kiss her, but it would have been their first kiss. But he would have been kissing a 15-year-old. Folks treated them like brother and sister. If they went riding horses for hours no one questioned their behavior. For him to kiss her like he wanted to kiss her in front of others would have been bold and would have raised questions.

He pulled away quickly from her hug hearing her whisper “I love you,” but he could not tell if it was love of a sister or more. He wanted to think more.

Boot camp. Special training. Because there was war and his skills were needed on the battlefield,
he was not able to go home. But every day he wrote her. On her sixteenth birthday, he bought her a jeep. On her 17th birthday, he bought her a car. Her 18th birthday, he sen a diamond friendship ring. Every payday he sent her as much as he put into a savings plan for their future.

Their letters had moved from a “sibling” tone to passionate love. She wrote that her family was moving to a small city. In anxiety he proposed by letter. She responded with love and acceptance. 

He kept writing letters every day during the last year of his military duty. Often with the sound of fighter planes, bombs and cries of men in pain he would write to her his profound love and his dreams for their future together.

She looked forward to his letters. But the city had an opportunity for fun and parties that she had not experienced. She wrote back to him dutifully, but the letters were not as long after she moved to the city. She wore the diamond friendship ring. But keep the engagement ring in its box on her vanity. She was not ashamed of the engagement ring, but it was nice getting attention from other men. And she did get attention. 

They agreed upon a wedding date. It would be one week after he was discharged with great military honors. He wanted to see her for the first time coming down the aisle as a bride. She agreed.

He came from the side chapel to the altar.  Almost all of the folks from their childhood had come to the city for the wedding. The audience gasped at the tall and handsome man so dignified in his dress military uniform. They had followed his career mostly by newspaper articles. He had become a hero to be celebrated.

Time passed. The groom waited a full ten minutes with great patience. He had visions of what she would look like when the doors opened and she came down the aisle. He imagined the beautiful women in her wedding dress as he had dreamed night-after-night since their engagement.

The doors opened. The people stood. The bride entered. She was wearing shorts, a skin-tight tank-top with too much showing, flip-flops, her hair had the effect of having been in the wind, her nose ring was a distraction marring simple beauty. There were tattoos on both arms.

As she came down the aisle an assortment of young people, more males than females, slipped into the back pews. They were dressed to party. That they had been to a mud-bog was apparent from the dirty spots on clothes and feet or sandals. Strange hair-dos, tattoos and rings from toes to noses and eyebrows to belly-buttons were generous. 

She had been part of their party. She had refused to do some of the things they did, but she still hung out with them and went to places they liked. They knew she was engaged. But from time to time she did things with them that made them wonder what engagement meant. They finally decided that engagement meant “Have fun until you get married.”

But they came with her for the big day. They had never been to a wedding. Their life-style was to live together without weddings. But they came for the show and to see the hero. And, there would be food.

Pastor Bare
Mark 4:9 Then Jesus said: “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Next Week:  Tuesday Musings of a Pastor
                      Part II: Allegory
P.S. Wonder if you will figure it out before I write it.

Please respond to

Thank you for your notes of encouragement as I write the Musings.  If you find them helpful, please feel free to forward to friends and ministers.  No charge as long as you do not sell.
It is a joy to hear from you.

Harold L. Bare, Sr., Ph.D.

Senior Pastor, Covenant Church
(434) 953-9065


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