Fred had decided he was done with church. He had eaten enough potluck casseroles, served on enough committees, and chaperoned enough teen trips. He’d done his time.
That’s why he went on the weekend camping trip. Finally he’d enjoy the mountains with his family. No guilty feelings about missing church this weekend.
And so he found himself on Saturday night with a warm campfire and a young son perched beside him, toasting marshmallows. Crickets chirped the background music and stars twinkled through the evergreen trees above.
“Dad, how come we’re skipping church tomorrow?” Jeremy asked.
“I just need a break, son,” Fred rumpled his hair. “We’ll be OK. You don’t have to be in church to go to heaven.”
Jeremy hummed to himself as he licked bits of hot marshmallow from the roasting stick. Then he played with the fire, pushing burning pieces of wood chunks from side to side, stirring the fire. “Ha! Look, Dad,” he said, pointing at a charcoal piece that he had separated from the burning wood. At first, the chunk blazed brightly but then, separated from the flames, it cooled to a still black lump.
They sat silently for a while as the fire continued crackling. Then Fred took the stick and rolled the cold chunk of charcoal back to the blaze. It sat among the flames for a little while and then suddenly burst into flame.
“What do you think?” Jeremy said.
“I think we’d better pack up,” Fred said quietly. “We need to be in church tomorrow.”
Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone?