Recently one of our local bishops declared in his protocol for the visitation schedule certain restrictions. This statement included quite definite times within the visit. The one that most intrigued me was the amount of time available before our right reverend gentleman needed to get home to let the dog out who otherwise would peddle on the manor floor. Oh, I privately declared to myself, what has happened to “the help” in our day and age? Long ago in the halcyon days of the Church, a Philadelphia Mainline woman visited her family graves, personally delivering to their sites poinsettias during late Advent at St. Thomas Church in Whitemarsh,PA. She had broken off the ignition key in her Bentley’s bonnet and had had the same potential peddle problem as the bishop, and “her man” was off that day with the dogs locked in the kitchen! Well, I was certainly sympathetic and got her qualified assistance posthaste! Certainly I do notice a contrast in the two situations. The poor bishop does not have “help,” and my dowager duchess did! What is wrong with this circumstance? It is obvious: the Bishop does not have proper domestic talent, a wife, yes, but he needs manor servants! What has occurred in our day and age, really, leaving our lord bishop helpless?!
I began to realize that we just do not have proper support for the bishops. Oh, yes, they have lots of paid professional staff in diocesan offices but real HELP? Program and administrative staffing, yes, but the necessary domestic HELP, NO, how inopportune! It was then that I realized that the bishop’s dog was a prophet, revealing by a great pale yellow beacon to me. . . So the revelation was spiritually drizzled down upon me; oh my, I thought: What if we helped our bishops by allocating monies and reducing budgets all at once! What if we hired two barely legal domestic servants for the episcopal household, a maid and valet, and got rid of most of the expensive diocesan staff who are not Help? Really two modestly paid domestic staff members with housing privileges “upstairs” would be oh-so-better-on-the-diocesan purse!
Thence, I realized that my prophet dog was proclaiming a “trickle down” revelation. I gave thanks. Instead of being po'd about diocesan staff budgets, we could give the bishop what he really wants, someone to bend over to hold his trousers as he has them slipped up around him so his valet could have the pant legs pulled up at the same time (avoiding the common adage of putting on one’s pants one leg at a time the way the rest of us do). Yes,the Bishop needs someone for honor and help and to take care of that peeweeing pet and/or whatever else so as to extend his precious time with his clergy and people. Thank Dog!