(Since my family members read this, I thought they might appreciate this blast from the past…)
I’m sporting a red bruise high in the middle of my forehead that Mikhail Gorbachev would envy. Friday, after throwing a log on a fire in the middle of the field, I raised up and whacked my head on a low-hanging limb. More about that below.
Wednesday, at Alpha Cottingham’s funeral, evangelistic singer (and her husband W.O’s cousin) Ronnie Cottingham provided special music and told a story about this wonderful pastor’s wife. “Miss Alpha called to ask if I could come and do a full one-hour concert. I told her I could if the preacher invited me. He did and we worked it out. The night of the concert, I came in and got set up and started singing — but Alpha wasn’t in the crowd. I checked and discovered she was keeping the nursery. No one else was available, so she took care of the little ones so others could attend the concert.”
The pastor’s wife has a servant heart.
Early in the week, Margaret suggested I ought to go see my Mom for Thanksgiviing. I’d thought about it. I’ve not been home in several months and it’s a seven hour drive, but at Mom’s age (nearing 93), I need to get there when I can. So, Thursday morning, I left the city early and drove to north Alabama (the family farm is five miles north of Nauvoo, AL). I’d asked the family to save some leftovers for my supper. Leftovers where my Mom and sisters are concerned would be a feast anywhere.
After supper, we did something we’ve not done in a couple of years: played rummy. This card game has been our family’s pastime since Dad taught us to play when we were children. My brother Ron and I played sister Patricia and her husband James. How the game turned out is never the point; the fellowship and camaraderie is. And that’s how it came about that we received the best laugh of the week from our Mom.
We were in the midst of the card game and enjoying the fellowship. James happened to mention that one of his co-workers for the phone company, many years ago, was a part-time preacher. They were working out of town and one night, James walked into the man’s hotel room and found two Playboy magazines laying on the bed. The man recovered quickly and said, “James, look what was laying on the floor when I checked into this room today!” Um hummm. Sure.
I had my own contribution to the story. “When our younger son Marty was four years old, we were living in an apartment complex in Jackson, Mississippi. One day, he found a Playboy out behind the building. When Margaret tried to take it from him, he wouldn’t let her have it. ‘It’s mine,’ he kept insisting.”
They all smiled. Then from the kitchen, Mom said, “Why? He was only four. He couldn’t read.”
A pure heart.
(Everyone around the table agreed that Mom has probably never even seen that magazine.)
Now, about that tree burning.