Sunday, December 23
The electricity was out again. Not for the whole building like last time. This time luck had just targeted the stage lighting. The whole sanctuary was lit except for the part that was supposed to have every eye focused on it. It was ironic for certain, but it was an hour until the show and Jeff wasn't in the mood to see the humor.
"How soon did you say that she could get here?" he asked Samuel for the hundredth time.
"She'll be here in a few minutes," Samuel answered. "Don't worry about it. She fixed things last time, and this time it's just the lights. My bet is that she'll have it running in less than thirty minutes."
"She'd better or this play is toast," Jeff said over-dramatically.
"Jeff, you're freaking out again," Samuel said in a calm voice. "I thought that we had already talked about this."
"We did, and it's a good concept except for when you actually have to practice it," Jeff said. "I can't calm down. My nerves are fried."
"Stressing about it isn't going to fix a thing," Samuel said reasonably. "Besides, what is it that you've learned this week?"
"That God's in control," Jeff said, "but..."
"No but's," Samuel cut him off. "God doesn't deal in them." The doors at the back of the sanctuary crashed open and Michel rushed in lugging her massive tool box. "As it happens, you're angel of electronics is here."
"What's the problem this time?" Michel yelled across the near empty room. She ducked around two crew members rushing to complete some task.
"Isn't it obvious?" Jeff asked with an embellished gesture towards the dark stage.
"Yes, it really is, actually," Michel agreed. "That's not going to work very well for a Christmas production that supposed to happen tonight."
"So what do you think?" Samuel asked with a conspiratorial smile at Jeff. "Can you fix it?"
"I fixed the soundboard, didn't I?" Michel asked. "Compared to that, this thing is a piece of cake."
"But do you think that you'll be able to fix it before the play starts?" Jeff asked, egging the woman into action.
"Of course I can," Michel answered. "Just show me how to get into the ceiling and I'll get started."
"Into the ceiling?" Samuel and Jeff asked at the same time.
"That's where all of the wiring for the lights is," Michel explained. "How did you think that they got their power?"
"Well, I..." Jeff stammered.
Michel rolled her eyes and headed up to the tech booth to find someone who actually knew something useful.
"Nice work on the lights," Samuel said as he climbed the rest of the way into the steeple. Michel stood looking out the circular window. Her hair stuck up all over the place as if she had stuck her finger in a wall socket, and it almost seemed like she was glowing. It would be time to leave soon. That was Samuel's only regret about this job: it was always time to leave soon.
"Thanks," Michel acknowledged the complement. "It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. The wires are old though I don't think they were very good to begin with. It's actually a bit of a safety and fire hazard. I got shocked seven times. It would have been bad if I wasn't a..." she trailed off.
"An electrician," Samuel said with a knowing look. "So you got everything squared away?"
"Yes," Michel answered. "The church shouldn't burn down any time soon."
"Oh, and good work with the girl," Samuel said. "I have a feeling that she was harder than the boy."
"Not harder, just different," Michel said. "You just have to use the right approach."
"Yes, well, good work just the same," Samuel said. Then after a moment, "Are you ready to go yet?"
"I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be," Michel said as she finally turned away from the window.
"Good," Samuel said with a smile. He liked Michel and hoped that she would be available next time he had to stop in on this town.
"The play went well," Melisa said as she and Jeff left the church hand in hand.
"Thanks to Samuel," Jeff said. "I couldn't have pulled it off without him and Michel. They were both life savers."
"So Samuel was talking to you since Tuesday?" Melisa asked. "That's the same day that I met Michel for the first time."
"Makes sense given that they arrived together," Jeff said.
"Yeah, but doesn't it seem odd that they would have found you and me considering...you know."
"Truth is stranger than fiction," Jeff commented. "Speaking of them, have you seen either recently?"
"Not since the play started," Michel said. "I have a feeling that they've moved on already."
"Strange people," Jeff said with a shake of his head. "Nice but strange."
"Strange yes, but in just the right ways and just the right time," Melisa said. "I'll always think of them as our Christmas angels."
"Angels, you say," Jeff said with a smile. "That would explain a lot of things."
"Yes it would," Melisa agreed. Neither one believed it for a second. God used people to do His will these days. He didn't send angels to earth anymore.
"Hey look," Melisa said, pointing at a branch that hung over the sidewalk. "Mistletoe."
"That's not mistletoe; it looks more like some sort of ivy," Jeff never got to say.
Overhead, two stars shot across the night sky. It was probably just because of the angle, but it almost looked like they came from behind the church steeple.