This here’s Liam. You may remember me. Liam Goodwell. Of the Denton County Goodwells.
I been here before. And I reckon if you know me, you been here previous, same as me.
Now, I’m a’gonna tippytoe right light round these here happenin’s. Cain’t be to careful when it comes to the things of the Lord. And I ain’t aimin’ to commit no unpardonable sin, though truth be told, to this very day, I ain’t able to lay a definitive solution to jest what that’d be.
Hence my tippytoein’.
So, they’s been lots of excitement and preparation down and ’round the church the last few days. It’s Friday now, but Sunday mornin’ last, Brother Beane, that’s be our preacher down to the Holy Pentecostal Church of the Saints, he leapt clean vertical from his chair behind the pul-pit after Grandpap give the endin’ prayer and we’d done shouted our amens and hallelujahs, scarin’ the livin’ daylights out of near the en-tar congregation. Our emotions done been rung clean dry durin’ his “Hellfire and Brimstone” onslaught o’ shoutin’ and defyin’ the ol’ Devil jest ended.
This here’s where I get me on shaky ground. And I know the good Lord hears my ever’ thought and sees clear down deep in my heart and I sure hope he understands my queries and questions.
‘Cause if He don’t, I’m plumb headin’ due south once I leave this world, sure.
Well, sir, Ol’ Brother Beane, he shot his skinny bony self, all his over-long spindly arms and legs, heavenward, a’rollin’ his eyes up under his eyelids, then begun a gyratin’. Why, if I didn’t know better, I’d a said the good Brother was dancin’ hisself a jig.
‘Course that cain’t be, as dancin’, that’d be a sin. Brother Beane his ownself preached against that particular transgression only a few Sundays past.
Didn’t not one member of the saints move a stitch, nor did one baby cry nor even cloud up. We all jest set bug-eyed, a’watchin’ the spectacle.
And jest like it begun, it begun to ease. Ol’ Brother Beane, he pulled his hanker-chiff square from the back pocket of his baggy brown suit, wiped his forehead more’n once ‘fore openin’ his eyes and addressin’ the fellowship.
“Brothers and Sisters,” his voice quivered, thin and overwhelmed with the fullness of what’d been wrought.
“Brothers and Sisters, jest this moment, I seen the Lord.”
Amen, we in the pews said softly.
“I said, I jest seen the LORD!” He fair hollered.
Amen! We fair hollered right back.
Well, if he didn’t a start his gyratin’ all over again, then raised his hands, skinny fingers spread upward.
“The Lord done laid somethin’ on my heart!”
Amen, we hollered again. This seemed to propel him. We obliged.
“I seen a man!”
Now wait here, didn’t he see the Lord? (Shaky ground, I know.)
“I seen a man a’walkin’ with Jesus!”
Alright, I’m a’feelin’ a mite more comf-ter-ble.
Amen, I hollered with the rest.
Right’cher, Ol’ Brother Beane, he struck out stomping first right, then left ‘cross the platform. Now, our sanctuary ain’t that big. Maybe a hun-erd seated come Sunday mornin’, and that ain’t but half full. And Sunday night vespers, there’ll be maybe half that. We’d be the real Christians, Mama says. Grandpap, he just smiles.
And bein’ the sanctuary ain’t that big, well, the pulpit area ain’t sizable, neither, so Brother Beane, he’d stomp a couple steps left, turn on his heel raisin’ his knee up to his midsection, then stomp a couple steps right, then do the same.
“There’s a man comin’ our way, comin’ to bring us re-VIV-al! I say, REVIVAL!”
Hallalujah, we was goin’ t’have us a REVIVAL! The best ripsnortin’, Praise the Lord feast of Heavenly delights this side of the Pearly Gates they-selves! Night after night, fer weeks on end, we’d all haul ourselves down the church each and ever’ evenin’ for services and singin’ and bein’ slayed in the Spirit and givn’ offerin’s of our service and our riches to support the time and prayer of the evangelist come to rekindle our Spiritual Far.
“There’ll come a man! He’ll show hisself soon, I seen it in my vision!” Brother Beane, was red to burstin’.
Well, that’d be a sight.
But like I’m wont to do, I digress…..
“Jest like it says in the Good Book, none of us knows the day nor the time nor the hour when the Lord Jesus Christ will come back for his faithful? Well, people, we don’t know the day nor the time when this Man of God will be crossin’ our threshhold, but as in all things, we best be ready! You hear? We must make our hearts ready for what this Man of God has in store for us!”
Hallelujah and Amen and Amen!
Trouble was, I had me a creepin’ feelin’ I knew jest who this man was who was a comin’. I wudn’t a’trying to eavesdrop, I promise to Heaven I wudn’t, but once I was there, I just plain didn’t have the courage to come out from behind the bags of feed, down to the elevator.
See, Grandpap’d sent me down fer some straps and leather lacin’s fer one o’ his saddles, and lo and behold, there was Ol’ Brother Beane and some feller a’talkin’ off to the side of the buildin’, jest them two.
Couldn’t help my boot needed tendin’, now could I?
Well, durned if I didn’t hear this feller, slicked back shiny hair, nose like a weasel, offer ‘Ol Brother Beane half the takin’s of the offerin’ basket iffin’ Brother Beane’d ‘llow him to come for services.
Didn’t hear ever’thing, but I did see them a’shake hands.
That shaky ground I spoke of? It’s plumb dancin’ and a’bouncin’ under my feet!
Heaven help me! I’m startin’ to feel the heat!