All Creatures of Our God And King XXXII

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Shakespeare had absolutely had no idea how much “ado” could be made of nothing. For the twenty third year, and the two hundredth congressional investigation, Hillary Clinton must answer to the bloodlust of the Republicans. Millions and millions of tax payer dollars spent on investigations while our bridges crumble down around us. Maybe the continued dogged harassment of an innocent individual will finally invoke the ire of the American public. Sending the do nothing Congress home for good this year would be a fitting repayment for our wasted tax dollars.

Speaking of repayments bring us to our retelling of the history of The Full Gospel Original Church of God. Wednesday night prayer meeting on September 2nd, 2015 was a calm, been here before, nothing out of the ordinary meeting. Reverend Dale’s appearance and voice seemed to be near one hundred percent. His singing voice had returned to its full robust baritone. There was no hint of any problems until Reverend Dale was asked to help carry the snake box back to the shed that housed the snake’s aquariums. Reverend Dale tried, but, the closer he got to actually touching the box, the harder his hands and arms began to shake. The Elders decided after the meeting that the services of a visiting preacher would once again be required to give their pastor more time to collect himself.

The decision to call Reverend Helena Handbasket back for the coming Sunday was made at The Embers, a high end steak house in Gainesville. The Elder’s were able to enjoy a glass of wine, or two, over their steaks while they discussed Reverend Bread’s situation. They were in uncharted waters. In one hundred and thirteen years of existence, the little church had never experienced a preacher that was unable to perform the Testament of Faith.

Elder Cheatum looked at his two friends before beginning, “Guys, I mean, this is what it is all about, isn’t it?” “If you don’t believe that the Lord protects those that are redeemed, then you need to go find you a Catholic church or something.”

“He’s just going to have to get over it”, said Elder Diggum as he reached for another roll. “I don’t know how we get him back on the horse, but he’s got to get back on the horse.”

“I hear you”, said Elder Wiley, “but I don’t think this is going to be simple.” “Dale’s afraid of the snake box, he hasn’t even touched a snake.” “That’s like being afraid of the barn because you know that there’s horses inside.” “I hate to say it, but he might be lost to us.”

“Well, I’m not ready to give up on him yet”, Elder Cheatum said as he perused the dessert menu. “We’ve got way too much invested in him to kiss that money goodbye.” “Barry, are you going to call and get Helena back for us this weekend, or do you want me to do it?” Elder Diggum said as he watched his friend down his third glass of Bordeaux.

“I got it, I got it”, said Elder Diggum as he dabbed at his lips with his napkin. “I’ll call them from my cell on the way home.” “Now, was I right about this place or not?” He asked as he reached for the check and placed the church’s credit card in the tray.

“Not bad”, the other Elders agreed in unison.

That Sunday’s service was well attended in spite of the crushing heat being visited on the area. Reverend Helena Handbasket had preached the sermon with an exuberance that was refreshing. She had handled the whole service from opening prayer to benediction like a seasoned veteran. From where Elder Cheatum sat, it appeared that the roll call had increased dramatically. The little church was nearly full. Apparently, the news of a female minister had brought people down from the hills to witness the spectacle.

After the service, the Elder encountered several clusters of people talking in the parking lot. The recurrent theme was how the Reverend Handbasket reminded them of Carrie, or Carrie’s mom, from the horror movie. Apparently, the light streaking through the Reverend Handbasket’s flowing red hair as she manipulated the serpents was more than folks could bear. Reactions to Reverend Handbasket’s Testament of Faith varied from some people rushing to the altar to rededicate their lives to Jesus, to other folks who were just struck dumb were they stood. No matter the speaker, by all accounts, it was the most “spirit filled” service the speaker had ever attended.

Basking in the glow of the moment didn’t last long as Elder Cheatum could see Elder Wiley motioning him from the porch of the church to return inside. Elder Cheatum followed Elder Wiley back into the little office of the church where they encountered Alva Bread waiting with Elder Diggum and Mulva Lite. Mrs. Reverend Dale E. Bread proceeded to reveal to the Elders that she had proof that the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread was laying on hands in an inappropriate way with the choir director, Ms. Ophelia Bottoms.

As she told her story, Mrs. Bread explained to the Elders that she had been having the reverend followed by a private investigator out of Gainesville for several weeks now. The private investigator had presented to Alva the photographic proof of the Reverend Bread’s healing ways the Saturday before the incident with Big Ben.

“I did it, it’s my fault” Alva said as she started to cry. “I knew Dale planned on taking those snakes outside for the Fish Fry.” “I just thought I’d give him something extra to think about.” “I didn’t mean for him to get hurt”, “I just didn’t want him to be so self-assured like he always is.” “He just thinks he can smile that smile of his and everything is supposed to be ok.” “I just rustled up the snakes a little bit by hitting the side of the box a few times with a broom handle” “Oh, and I might have dropped the box up and down on the floor a few times.”

The Elders were sitting with their mouths open, awestruck by the revelation. Once again, their dinghy had been cast on uncharted waters.