Crickets in the Basement

The other day, I was reminded of my Unitarian Universalist evangelicalism by a strange sound coming from my basement.  Standing in the kitchen, I heard something I should not have been hearing inside my house — a loud chirripping from the floor below.  Going down the stairs, the sound was so loud, my ears had difficulty locating it.  A cricket had somehow found its way in and was making its presence abudantly known.

My first thought was that you have picked the wrong place to seek out a lady cricket.  I wondered why the insect would make such a racket, lost in such an unfamiliar environment devoid of familiar plants and night air.  Perhaps it was just sending out sounds like sonar waves, trying to discern its location.  Perhaps it was angrily railing against the misfortune that carried it into a barren land, devoid of friends or food.

More than likely, I then thought, the poor thing is probably just calling out for help.  Panicked, the solidary creature was literally “screaming” for help in the chance that Providence would restore it to its rightful home.  I couldn’t help but wonder what the tiny bug was thinking of the books and boxes, the carpet and closets.

My mind couldn’t help but wander to all those people out there, lost in unfriendly circumstances, lacking friends and familiar surroundings.  Walking down the street, is the woman I just passed screaming silently for someone to help her?  Is that young man desperately reaching out figurative hands pleading for someone to crasp hold and pull him from his hole?  How many helpless, hopeless persons out there are crying out however they can, praying for their world to make sense.

Our congregations are often wonderful places and those who find their way to our doors are very often rewarded with deep fellowship and lifelong guidance along their spiritual paths.  But how many never see our buildings or hear our messages?  How many never smell the pulpit flowers or feel the touch of a helping hand pulling them toward sanctuary?
The world is filled with crickets in the basement, desperately trying to find a way home.  This coming Sunday is Homecoming for many of our churches.  Our congregations can help people deal with all the noise of their daily lives.  So, listen for the chirps in your life and invite someone to a worship service.  In their own ways, so many people are hoping they will be noticed and offered a hand of fellowship.  A basement may not be a dangerous place, but it is devoid of sustenance and leads nowhere.