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Ross Murray's Border Report
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Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 12.28.14
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

I left my fudge in church

STANSTEAD, QUEBEC: Dear stewards of Centenary United Church,

Last Sunday morning, it's possible a member of your congregation may have found a small piece of fudge wrapped in a napkin in the back of one of the pews. If that's the case, then you probably already know about it. I know if I found someone's discarded dessert in a hymnbook holder, I would be all, "Hey, stewards! Some schmuck left sugar in the sanctuary." And the stewards would be like, "Say it, don't spray it," because stewards are funny -- in a good way, of course.

There is the slim chance that more than one piece of fudge was found Sunday morning. These things happen. One person finds a piece of fudge. Then another person finds another piece of fudge. Next thing you know people are talking about the Miracle of the Fudge, and everyone and his step-grandmother is undertaking a pilgrimage -- or a "fudge-grimage" -- to see the sweetly sacred place.

By the way, asking someone "Would you like to see my sweetly sacred place?" can be highly misconstrued.

(Also: My Bible studies are a bit rusty but I don't recall desserts figuring heavily in the New Testament. I suspect, though, that immediately after the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, there were more than a few people hankering for a Miracle of the Pies and Brownies. Just imagine: if that had happened, then today we'd all be singing, "What a Flan We Have in Jesus.")

So, just in case there was a sudden surfeit of abandoned fudge products in church, I would like to identify my specific fudge. It was beige, measuring about eight cubic centimetres and had bits of butterscotch in it, kind of like Skor Bar but you could tell they weren't the real deal. More like faux-Skor. It's possible too they were more than a bit old, like Gettysburg old -- faux-Skor from seven years ago.

Come to think of it, I'm not even sure it was fudge. It might technically have been a square. It was definitely sweet, I can assure you that, having already eaten two during supper in the school cafeteria across the street and having picked this third piece off a tray that had been returned to the kitchen along with the other uneaten food. This is not at all the same as picking something out of the garbage, merely en route to the garbage.

I immediately realized I didn't want said fudge/square right then, having preceded the two previous fudges/squares with a cookie. There is probably an appropriate Bible reference at this point: "Suffer the chubby children to come unto me..." I think it goes. Instead, I wrapped the sweet in a napkin and stuck it in my blazer pocket and walked across the street to the church with the rest of the students, teachers, and parents.

Normally, there's not a lot of snacking in church, outside of communion. There's coffee and dessert after a service, of course, because sermons can sure build up an appetite. But mid-preach, nothing. It's just a thought, but don't you think opening a concession stand would tempt people back to church? Here's a suggestion: marshmallows and melted chocolate between two holy wafers -- 'Psalmores. You're welcome.

So I don't think I ever truly intended to eat my fudge during the carol service. But I didn't rule it out entirely. I was going to see where the service took me. Sometimes "The Little Drummer Boy" makes my blood sugar plummet, so it's good to be prepared. But I knew for certain I didn't want my sweet crumbling in my pocket, so I took it out and slid it into the hymnbook holder for safekeeping/later snacking.

And then I forgot it.

I apologize for abandoning my dessert in your church, but I'm guessing it's probably not the weirdest thing you've found. How does the verse go? "For where two or three have gathered together in my name, someone's going to leave behind a denture." But I like to think that perhaps my forsaken fudge serves as some kind of metaphor. Perhaps we all are the fudge, created out of love and then lost, waiting to be found. And eaten.

Maybe the fudge is a metaphor for careless waste that, at Christmastime more than any other, we may be forgiven for, especially by stewards. Maybe it's the promise of the sweet hereafter.

Whatever it is, I'm writing to you to tell you that, about the fudge? You can keep it.

Merry Christmas.

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