Life with the Philistines
CHRISTMAS CROSS UP
6For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hos 6:)
In today's episode we find Mr Philistine checking his mail the day after Christmas. Listen:
"For me George? Just me, not the both of us?"
"Nope, just you. Looks like they forgot me this time."
"Who do we know who'd be writing to just me George? Who's it from?"
"Well, this one's from the gas company, this one's from the mortgage company. This one's from...."
"I thought so. Seriously. Is there any real mail today? What's this one here? It's to you George, but the address is wrong. I wonder how that happened."
"What's that? I must have missed this one. Let me see, it's from..... This isn't to me Martha. See? It's to that new family across town. The postman has gotten us mixed up again."
"You'd better put it back in the box right away. It might be important and they'll need it. It does make me think though. I wonder if any of our mail gets sent to someone else and we never hear about it."
"You're right Martha. You know what? I think I'll take this letter to that new family myself. I've wondered what someone with my name would look like. He's bound to be tall, handsome and suave. All us George Philistines are you know."
"You mean all but you George. I think that's a good idea though. I've been curious myself as to what they look like."
"Can I go too daddy? I want to see if they have any boys my age I can play with."
"You're just trying to get out of doing your chores Billy. You can't fool me. Isn't he mom?"
"I am not Suzie! I just want to go show off my new catcher's mitt. Maybe they got someone my age I can play catch with. Besides, I already did my chores. Can I go with you daddy? Huh?"
"I suppose so, if it's all right with your mother."
"It's all right with me. That's one less set of feet scampering around the kitchen while I clean up around here."
"All right Billy. If you're going with me, get yourself in the car. I'm heading out now."
"Oh boy! I get to go. Come on daddy. Let's gooooo!"
"They sure live in an old beat up house don't they daddy. I don't know if I want to go there or not. It reminds me kinda like Halloween. It's scary."
"Well, I guess this is it Billy. Let's deliver this letter and get on back to the house. I found out what I wanted to know. It's obvious this George is nothing like me. You might as well leave your mitt in the car. We won't be here long."
"Ok daddy. Look. Someone's opening the door."
"Oh, yeah. Hmmm. I'll go talk to her and give her this letter. then we can go."
"Yes? May I help you? I saw you drive up. If you're looking for Mr Philistine I'm afraid he's not here. You see...."
"No M'am. I just came to deliver this letter. it's addressed to you folks and it came to us by mistake. I thought it might be important so I...."
"Yes, it is important. Thank you very much Mr...."
"My name is George Philistine. We live across town. Usually I just put the letter back in the box when there's a mistake like this, but I thought this time I'd deliver it personally."
"I'm glad you did Mr Philistine. Won't you come in? I don't have much to offer you, but perhaps you would like a glass of water, or maybe some tea?"
"Well I really should be going, but..."
"Daddy? They have some kids here. Let's go see if any of them want to play baseball."
"I'm afraid all my children are a little too young for baseball. But I would like to have the company, if you have the time to spare."
"Well, I don't know, oh, why not. Sure. I can stay for a while I guess."
"I'm afraid I don't receive many visitors since my husband died. The house we used to live in while George was still with us was always alive with visitors and friends. But since George has passed away, we seem to have been forgotten. I suppose that's a normal reaction when people don't know how to deal with the death of a friend or a loved one."
"I suspect it is Mrs Philistine. I'm sorry, but may I know your name? I feel like I'm talking to my wife calling you Mrs. Philistine."
"I suppose that would be awkward, as it is for me. My name is Wilma. And you of course are George. And what is your name young man?"
"Me? Did you hear what she called me daddy? She said I was a young man. I am kind of grown up aren't I. I'm Billy. I don't see any one my age here. Do you have a boy my age I can play baseball with? I brought my new mitt and my bat and ball."
"I'm afraid not Billy. As you see my three children are still quite young. Tommy is a couple years younger than you and I'm sure he would like very much to play with you if you wouldn't mind playing softly with him."
"Sure. Um, Mrs Philistine? I don't see a Christmas tree or any presents. Did you take it out already? We don't take our tree out til after New Year. Where is your tree?"
"I, that is we didn't have a tree this year Billy. Trees are rather expensive you know. We used the money for food instead of a tree. I hope you understand."
"Kinda I do. But I don't see any toys for the kids. Do they put them away like mommy tells me to do? I don't do very good at keeping my toys picked up."
"Yes, I suppose you could say that Billy. I suppose that's as good an explanation as any"
"Wilma, I'm afraid it's time for me to leave now. Billy, hop in the car. We have to get back home now."
"Why daddy? Momma didn't say anything about....."
"Go get in the car Billy. Don't make me say it twice."
"Ok daddy, but...."
"I understand Mr Philistine. I really do. This happens every time. But I do thank you for delivering this letter personally. And I am glad to have met you and Billy. I really am."
"So how goes the journey George? Was Mr Philistine all you expected him to be?"
"Mom? You know what? They live in a ghost house. I mean they don't have any couch or a Christmas tree or anything. It's kinda neat. Except for not having a TV and a computer game and things like that, I'd kinda like to live in a house like that, for a while anyway."
"What's Billy talking about George? Why wouldn't they have any furniture or a tree?"
"Mr Philistine, Wilma's husband died a while back and left his wife with three small children, and I suspect no income. They live in a dilapidated house. It was rather heartbreaking. I couldn't stay there any longer. I thought I would, would...."
"Yes George. I can see it in your eyes. So what are you going to do now? I know you. You're not one to just let a situation like this pass by."
"You're right Martha. I was thinking that very thing on the way back home. I'm thinking of taking up a collection of toys, and maybe some money if anyone is willing, and take it to Wilma and the kids. If nothing else, they need a Christmas, and to know they're not forgotten. Maybe the church can help out too."
"Daddy? I really don't need this mitt. I mean, it's kind a big for Tommy now, but maybe later. And I don't need all the toys I got. Really I don't."
"That's a good attitude Billy. And I'm sure the neighbors will feel the same when they hear about Wilma and the kids."
"You know George? This is what we've been missing with our Christmases. We've been looking for what we can get, not what we can give to those who are really in need. Why don't we do this every year? It could change not only us, but our neighborhood as well."
"Maybe even the world Mommy."
"Yes, Billy, maybe even the world."
31When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Mat 25:)
Normally I try to use as much originality in my stories as possible. This story however is different in that respect. In the waning years of Old Time Radio there was presented a Christmas special by the Nelsons, Ozzie and Harriet. The above story is strongly based upon that story, altered to fit my own characters and format.]