Good morning, y’all. I’m imagining an America with a taco stand on every corner. According to the Trump Latino specialist, Tio Tomas, that’s what we’ll have if we don’t build a thirty foot impenetrable wall guarding us good God-fearing white folks from our neighbors to the South. One can only speculate what the Canadians might do in response. The Donald’s dystopian future might include stands selling thick bacon and Molson beer right next to the Taco stands. On a related note, a taco stand on every corner in America is speculated to raise employment by nine and a half million people, so there is that.
Speaking of employment brings us back again to the retelling of the history of The Full Gospel Original Church of God. Wednesday following the “miracle in the valley”, the Elders met for their unofficial meeting of the board at the IHOP in Blairsville. Instead of being named Wiley, Diggum and Cheatum, the Elders could have substituted Confused, Concerned and Cautious. Elder Wiley broke the ice.
“What in the name of Sarah’s hatband is going on in Nunsuch”, Elder Wiley asked his two friends. “People are swearing that Reverend Dale’s eldest took over the testament of faith”.
“And then Bubba Hawker decided to go all Indian snake charmer and risk his life kissing a rattler”, added Elder Diggum as he reached for the butter.
“That sums up what I was told”, replied Elder Cheatum, “and I don’t know what to think.”
He waited for the waitress to leave before continuing, “I think one of us is going to have to monitor the situation in the valley until Reverend Dale is gone.”
Elder Cheatum waited a few seconds and then said, “Okay, I volunteer.”
“Look”, Elder Cheatum said as he placed a napkin between his cup and saucer, “we don’t know what conclusions, if any, we can draw from the events.”
Elder Cheatum continued, “Was the child Spirit Filled, put up to it by his Daddy, or just acting out, we just don’t know”.
“Was Bubba Spirit Filled, feeling the ghost of his Daddy, or just jealous on some level that he’s not the pastor”, added Elder Wiley, “we just don’t know”.
“Well, we do know we’ve got a gold mine in Reverend Helena”, answered Elder Cheatum, “and perhaps a little nugget in Reverend Dale’s kid.” “Who know where this might lead.”
“Well as long as all roads lead to the Tres Amigos Retirement Village in Belize”, said Elder Diggum, “I’m on board.”
The Elders spent the rest of their breakfast lost in their own imaginations of life on a beach in Belize. As they prepared to depart from the parking lot of the only eatery in Blairsville with International in its name, Elder Wiley looked at Elder Cheatum and said. “I guess we won’t see you in church”.
“You will tonight, but not Sunday”, Elder Cheatum, “So, see you later.”
Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting was as normal as vanilla ice cream. Even though the followers continued to cast quick glances in his direction, little Devin Bread sat like a statue in his pew. When the service was concluded the board members, plus one, met in the office at the back of the church.
Elder Cheatum broke the silence, “I’ve questioned quite a few folks so far, and to my amazement, they all seem to agree on what they saw this past Sunday.”
Elder Cheatum continued, “Sometimes we hear two completely different things in what we’re being told.” “I like to be clear on what the message actually means before I use it to actually take action on the item.” “I hate to get a new course charted and then find out that I’m headed off completely in the wrong direction.”
The Elder paused for effect before continuing.
“To her credit, Reverend Helena is pretty straight forward with what she’s trying to get across.” “There’s not a lot of mumbo-jumbo involving the Protestant Reformation, or scripture that no one can decipher”, the Elder said as cleaned his nails with a pen knife.
“Let’s all be honest, there’s a lot of scripture that can be interpreted in a hundred different ways”, Elder Cheatum said looking around the table, “Preachers do it all of the time”.
The Elder smiled at the group and said, “I just don’t want to give up pork rinds thinking it’s going to lead to my salvation, and then find out that I had misinterpreted the intent of Leviticus 11:7-8 “And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.”
The group emitted a light laugh acknowledging the Elder’s attempt at humor.
“So the question before us is, as I see it, is the child Devin truly touched by the Holy Spirit, or is this an attempt to keep Reverend Dale’s job?”
Elder Cheatum looked at the secretary/treasurer, “Mulva, what are your thoughts?”
Mulva arranged the papers in her hands before answering, “I tend to think that the child was taken over by the Spirit.” “I talked to Alva about it, just mother to mother, and she seemed scared to death by what happened”. “Alva says Devin won’t talk about it, not even to Reverend Dale”.
“And what does Reverend Dale think”, asked Elder Cheatum.
“He’s as surprised as everybody”, Mulva replied, “He doesn’t know whether to discourage Devin or not, since it might all be divine inspired.”
Elder Cheatum glanced at his watch, “Okay, we’ve spent enough time on this topic”. “Let me just wrap up by saying I’ll be attending services here this Sunday.” “If there’s another ‘miracle’, I want to witness it.” “Now, let’s get on with regular business.”
Elder Diggum reported that the work establishing their own cable network show was progressing rapidly. If things fell into place, The Full Gospel Original Church of God might be able to broadcast Summer Revival 2016 on their own channel.
Mulva reported that the cash was still pouring in to the point that the church had had to open two new bank accounts to ensure coverage of their deposits by the FDIC.
At this point, Elder Wiley interrupted his doodling to point out that he was reviewing the prospectus of several startups that the church should consider investing in.
Mulva caught herself before speaking. From Elder Wiley’s words she could tell that her dream of Day Care centers for the working poor of the area would never materialize. Mulva glanced sideways at Reverend Helena to see if the Reverend had picked up on Elder Wiley’s words. Reverend Helena glanced quickly at Mulva letting her know that she had received the message loud and clear.
Elder Cheatum rose from his chair signifying the end of the meeting. The group walked to the parking lot together, to return to their very separate lives.