Thursday August, 20, 2015 – The Preacher Comes for Sunday Dinner or Why I Believe God Has a Sense of Humor.
I know there are people who know me and those who read what I write on Here’s What I’m Thinking that question whether I had a church bringing up at all. Especially given some of the topics I write about like yesterday’s post about bikini suit football. I did though.
I grew up in the Magnolia Methodist Church in Magnolia, Texas. I do not have many memories prior to about age three. I do have some memories of stories I have heard about me growing up in the Magnolia Methodist Church prior to age three. For example, Mama, yanking me out of the aisle and “whispering” “STOP dancing to the church hymns!” Or stories of me playing with and then putting Mama’s jewelry in the collection plate. And my favorite – Mama carried me, a book, some crackers and a switch to church. If I did not read the book and talked, she popped me with the switch and shoved the cracker in my mouth.
But one year when I was about six years old “The Conference” and if you grew up a Methodist, you know what that means, sent the church a new preacher. His name was David Williamson.
By this time I knew that having the preacher to Sunday dinner was a big deal. It was dinner – right after church. If it were supper, it would have been right before church.
I am not sure which order these should be in, but there were three things that suddenly made Sunday dinners very special.
- Mama fixed my all time Sunday (still today my favorite meal) of roast, gravy, mashed potatoes, carrots and hot rolls. And of course gallons of ice tea. And you know there was a Nanny Cake (formerly known as a Doy Cake.)
- The new preacher was about the coolest person I had ever seen and once per month he would come to our house for Sunday dinner.
- And before we sat down for dinner, I could take off my dress and put on my blue jeans or shorts, depending on the season. I am sure this was a prearranged compromise with Mama to get me into the dress in the first place.
After dinner I was always sent to play. But I would slip back into the living room and sit behind the three-quarter partition and listen to the conversations. Mama, Honeyboy and David would tell stories and laugh. It was the laughter of this man that I remember every time I hear his name – even today. His laugh was as though it came from deep within and it filled the room with joy.
It was booming, rich and hearty. Sometimes he made a whooping kinda sound that became infectious and made you start to laugh too. It just gave you a feel good feeling all over.
So in the logic of the mind of a six year old, I concluded this. If God talks through the preacher, then God must laugh through the preacher too. So that must be the way God sounds when He laughs. And to this day because of David Williamson’s laugh, I believe that God has a sense of humor with a big booming laugh.
Granted it is sometimes difficult to believe given the content I post that there is a Divine inspiration and spiritual purpose in Here’s What I’m Thinking. But remember my daily goal – to make at least one person smile or laugh each day.
I strongly concur about David’s laugh–it was very distinctive and hasn’t changed. David had and has a commanding voice that certainly was needed when preaching to the elder male members of the congregation. They were more inclined “nod off” much to the entertainment of the kids on the back row.
My most memorable church experience was attending a camp or tent revival in a field between Alethia Switch/The Mill and Magnolia. It was a summer night and I remember the visiting evangelist climbing a pole in the middle of the tent and hanging on while preaching part of his sermon.
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I should have followed my previous comment by adding that the preacher who climbed the pole helped reinforce the argument in favor of Darwin’s theory.
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I do not actually remember the tent revival, but I have heard this story about a tent revival at the Sawmill. The evangelist allegedly went around that afternoon inviting everybody to come to the revival. When they got there and HB and Mama went (Dale I think too), the evangelist preached about everybody he had seen that afternoon. Said things like “and there is a bookkeeper at your sawmill who has a calendar with a sinful, naked woman on it hanging in his office.” I don’t know what he said about the manager of the sawmill commissary. I am sure the naked woman on the calendar had on more clothing than what I am wearing and I am in gym shorts and a t-shirt.
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Some early morning techno gremlins and the link to FB did not link. Let’s see if this solves the issue.