Roanoke Church of Christ



By my friend, Ben
As me’n ol’ Blue headed out toward Sky Bridge it were still dark. It were. Sky Bridge were about ten miles on the other side of Hickory Ridge. It were. An’ it were perty much a local secret. It were. It were at the top of a mountain where years an’ years ago the wind, or some folks said water, cut a natural bridge up there. An’ old gravel road what were probably an’ ol’ loggin’ road went all the way to the top. It did. At the top there were kind of a little slope to the bridge. I’d seen pictures of folks on horseback on top, but it were too rocky an’ narrow for cars. The openin’ in the bridge were big enough to put a small house in. It were.

It bein’ Easter an’ all, I decided to watch the sun come up at Sky Bridge cause it were one of Ma’s favorite places. It were. Once in awhile on a warm Saturday she’d pack up a picnic basket an’ Pa’d take us up to there an’ we’d spend the day. We would. It were a great place to hike an’ explore. It were told about that the caves around there were used by the Indians an’ soldiers durin’ the war between the states. It were.

Most folks in town what were havin’ an Easter sunrise service were gonna be up at the Hickory Ridge Cemetery. They were. An’ while Easter were one of Ma’s favorite days, I reckon she only had Pa take us to one or two of them sunrise services on Hickory Ridge. She did. I reckoned she wanted that time to herself. She did. Cause every Easter mornin’ she’d be up way before me’n Pa. She were. I knowed because the smell of coffee would wake me up before the sun come up. It did. When the weather were warmer I could sometimes hear her ol’ rocker creakin’ on the front porch. I could. It were like she wanted a quite time just between her an’ the Lord. It were. An’ I reckon while the singin’ an’ prayin’ at the cemetery were nice an’ all, Ma liked her own quiet time with the Lord. She did.

I asked her once what she thought about when she watched the sun come up out there on the front porch them Easter mornin’s. I did. She smiled an’ said sometimes she thought about the Lord standin’ outside that tomb, stretchin’ like a newborn baby getting’ ready for a whole new life. She did.

As I turned offen the hard road to head up to the bridge, a dear jumped across the road. Ol’ Blue, what were lookin’ out the front window, saw that there dear an’ got all excited-like. He were snortin’ an’ whinin’ an’ wantin’ out. He were. I knowed I’d have to keep him on his leash when we got to the top. It were pitch dark an’ on either side of the bridge it slopped off perty quick-like with big rocks an’ high cliffs. It did.

The top of the mountain were all covered with big ol’ pine trees what laid down a deep soft bed of pine needles. It were. When I turned off my truck lights I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. I couldn’t. Then my eyes got use to the dark an’ I could see all them stars ashinin’ through the trees. I could. I got my flashlight from under the seat an’ me’n Ol’ Blue walked out from under the trees toward the bridge. I did. I knowed which side the sun were comin’ up on, so me’n ol’ Blue found us a spot on a big ol’ flat rock where we could look right through the bridge. We did.

The stars were all twinklin’-like an’ the moon were done gone. It were. I could see a bit of a red glow off to the east through the openin’ an’ I knowed the sun would be up in a bit. I did.

As I were waitin’ I got to thinkin’ about what Ma said about the Lord stretchin’ outside that there tomb before the sun come up on that Sunday mornin’ long ago. I did. As I did, I looked through that there bridge an’ I got me to thinkin’ how it looked like a big ol’ opening of a tomb. I did. So me’n ol’ Blue made our way right under the arch of that bridge an’ waited for the sun to come up. We did. An’ when the first warm rays of the sun hit me I walked out the other side an’ stretched like a feller what were just getting’ outta bed. I did. An I reckon I knowed what Ma meant, cause I felt all new-like an’ a chill ran up my back. It did. I could see the valley down below an’ mountains way out yonder. It were like I were on top of the world an’ it were all fresh an’ clean. It were. An’ I reckon maybe that’s what the Lord felt after givin’ his life for it. I did.

CONCERNS: Richard Crites had back surgery and is now able to sleep at night, but he is still having pain and will need more surgery. T. J. Hall has some blocked arteries near his heart which will require by-pass surgery in the near future. Karla Hollins is visiting from Texas with thoughts of relocating to the Roanoke area. The following are in some form of treatment or recovery from cancer. Philip Pierce’s mother, Connie Crites brother, Leena Bolin’s brother, Nick; Walter Wagner, relatives of the Beach’s: Ruby Stahl, Stephanie Ridney and Marge Greenwood, as well as Joni’s mother. Regan, a ten year old boy, Deana McRoy, Jim Hunter and Sharon and Billy. It was so good to see Helen Nicklas at church last Sunday. She is still quite ill. Seeking employment are Melisha and Sam. Continue to remember Martha Foy’s parents, Alma Martin, Jenni Cullum, Ron Matney and Tim Elder.

Monday: Genesis 15:1-21
Tuesday: Psalm 2:1-11
Wednesday: Mark 5:1-20
Thursday: Hebrews 9:6-14
Friday: I Thessalonians 4:1-12
Saturday: Psalm 130:1-8
Monday: Exodus 3:1-15
Tuesday: Matthew 9:14-34
Wednesday: Ecclesiastes 12:1-14
Thursday: II Corinthians 5:11-21
Friday: II Samuel 11:1-27
Saturday: Psalm 121:1-8

Two organizations in town are having diaper drives. Hollins University is collecting for the Rescue Mission and Spirit FM is collecting for the Pregnancy Center. However, Spirit FM is collecting at the Bonsack Kroger store April 12, from 1PM to 7PM. Those going to the Rescue Mission will be picked up here at the building by Hollins students or be delivered by one of us.
Since David Pennell’s death from cystic fibrosis, Holly Wagner has served on the local cystic fibrosis board and helps organize a walk at Hollins University each May to raise money for foundational research. The walk this year will be May 4 and if you would like to contribute in David’s honor, see Holly sometime this month.
Two groups lead by Martha Albert have cooked recently at the Ronald McDonald House. On Easter Sunday Martha, Alisa and Wayne Flora, along with Mike Branch did the honors. On Wednesday evening Martha, Karla Holins, Holly Wagner, Nick and John Bolin, Garrett Lees Williams and two of his friends helped prepare and serve the evening meal. Thanks to all of you for doing this good work.
Thanks to Holly Wagner and Mary Willa Foy for hiding all the Easter eggs for last Sunday’s egg hunt. Even though the rainy weather kept it in the annex, the children all had a good time and took home lots of goodies.
There are still a few copies available of Mike Brown’s well-written, historical and in-depth article from the Arkansas Times concerning the integration of Harding University. See Keith if you want a copy.
The Ronald McDonald House needs aluminum pull tabs as part of their income. You will find collection boxes in the annex kitchen, on the table in the hallway downstairs and on the desk in the communion preparation room.
Remember, if you need assistance to park in the handicapped area, someone will be there to help you.

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