THE WHITE CASSOCK..!
The priest stood in front of the white cassock hanging from a coat hanger in his bedroom. He leaned forward, felt the soft cloth between his fingers, and gently removed a speck of dirt that had inadvertently climbed onto his spotless robe. He opened the width of his sleeves and marvelled at the girth of the opening, which he knew made him look fashionable.
"What stole shall I put round my shoulder for today's service?," he asked himself softly, as he looked at the different stoles he had brought back from his numerous tours to London, Washington, South Africa and beyond. "This golden colour, I reserve only when the Bishop is around, this green one for funerals and this striped one when I visit the Philippines, Korea, or Bangkok."
The priest continued to stand in front of the white cassock hanging from the coat hanger. He placed the different stoles against the white. He knew the black stole was too sharp a contrast. If he wanted a job with an English congregation, he would have to show class, and somehow black against white was just not what anyone from such a congregation would consider classy. He knew it, because the present Pastor of such a church in the suburbs was facing a lot of flak from his people, and anybody could have told him to change his black stole to light blue. "Light blue, or a golden brown would have done the trick," he thought to himself and knew that his sense of dress would lend itself to that congregation's thinking, if he really wanted that church, but his plans were loftier; his plan was for the Bishop's chair!
He continued staring at the white cassock on the coat hanger, and wiped away an imaginary crease he felt the ironing man had forgotten to remove. He pressed hard against the crease and was happy that it disappeared when he pressed a second time. He then took out a crimson stole and placed it against the white cassock and grimaced with distaste. "Cream," he said, and pulled out the cream. It was perfect. He placed the cream stole against his cassock and exclaimed in joy, "Perfect!"
Only the perfect was meant for his white cassock.
He had worked hard for his white cassock-seminary with distinction, a thesis which won him a doctorate and an ordination where three Bishops had placed their hands on his head. He looked down with a sneer at those who professed to be priests, but did not wear a white cassock like he did.
He put on his white cassock, and placed the cream stole on it. Perfect, he thought again and walked with dignity into his church. He smiled at the pulpit waiting for him, the altar shining with extra varnish. He walked to his seat on the platform, arranged his white cassock first, then sat down so that it was not crushed.
He then looked up; it was Sunday morning. And he smiled at his empty church..!