Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Dear God, please restore the power October 14, 2014

Parked outside Trinity Lutheran Church North Morristown on Sunday morning for the congregation's annual fall dinner.

Parked outside Trinity Lutheran Church North Morristown on Sunday morning for the congregation’s annual fall dinner.

THE IRISH I M van parked outside the German Lutheran Church makes me laugh.

And it’s good to laugh on a Sunday morning when the power has been out for hours and the Lutheran ladies have been scurrying, along with their anxious husbands, to cart roasters of hot food from the church basement.

It is the morning of Trinity North Morristown’s annual fall dinner and the worst possible date for the power to fail at a nearby substation.

Before worship services on a Sunday morning at Trinity Lutheran Church, North Morristown.

Before worship services on a Sunday morning at Trinity Lutheran Church, North Morristown. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

Upstairs in the sanctuary, pews are nearly empty as congregants scramble to move food to the homes of parishioners with power and to nearby Camp Omega. Eventually the pews fill. The church organist gathers her songbooks from the balcony and hurries to the piano at the front of the sanctuary.

The pastor jokes, during the morning worship service, about his strong and resilient German Lutheran congregation, then prays later for the electricity to come back on.

But when he blesses worshipers, the lights are still out.

So the well isn’t working and the toilet can’t be flushed except it can with water hauled in milk cans to pour into the toilet tank.

Outside, the scent of coffee wafts from an open kettle set atop a propane fueled burner.

Tickets for the dinner are selling and diners file in a side door, up the steps and into pews to await dismissal to the basement. Food has been hauled back, down the stairs, into the semi dark kitchen.

In the dim light of the sanctuary, conversation flows with the comfort that comes from visiting within the close confines of a small country church.

Then, just like that, the lights flick on at 11:10 a.m. Applause erupts. An audible gasp escapes, though, when the power flickers, off and on, before remaining on.

Dinner, tables set

Tables await diners in the church basement. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

Diners file to the basement, the IRISH I M and the Lutherans, to feast on ham and turkey and to give thanks for an answer to prayer.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


18 Responses to “Dear God, please restore the power”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Whew—-dinner is saved!!!!!

  2. Thread crazy Says:

    Oh how dependent we’ve become on electricity! Think of our ancestors – candles, oil lamps, and lanterns. I keep an oil lamp around as we’ve had our share, especially when we have some bad storms. Has been 2-3 days sometimes before we get it back on. Glad it came back on for Sunday lunch!

  3. Love the inside of the church and the old Ford truck.

  4. treadlemusic Says:

    And the Midwest “little lunch” is saved!!! Before we moved to our current rural home, such experiences would have been merely stories to read about and marvel at creativity of such groups (living in the Twin Cities Metro, rarely would we have been w/o power and the dinners held in those large church venues have a totally different ‘feel’) but, having lived here for 40 years, we know that this accommodation to “life” is the ‘norm’…and we love it!!!!!!!!! Great post!!!!!

  5. Jackie Says:

    God is good….all the time. 🙂

  6. The Big Man is testing everyone and their level of patience that all will work out! At least it was not winter weather time – brrr. Love the license plate. Happy Day 🙂

  7. So lucky the power came back in the nick of time!

  8. Marilyn Says:

    The title of this story is a beautiful prayer and has generated much devotional introspection. Thanks.

  9. hotlyspiced Says:

    That is indeed an answer to prayer. What a tense morning it must have been down in the kitchen. And in the bathrooms. And in the hall! I’m so glad the event got to go ahead. We’ve had terrible cyclonic storms here in Sydney and thousands of homes are without power. The temperature has plummeted and it’s snowing in the mountains again. Fortunately, our home hasn’t been affected xx

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