Breath of God IV

Good morning, y’all. Sunny, with none of the rain we’ve been promised so many times. I feel we’re slipping right into Summertime without a chance for me to get acclimated. I’m not saying that I’m going to be out working in the 90 degree heat, because I’m not. I’m just saying I’d like a gradual raise in temperatures over weeks of transition. Some things it just takes longer to get used to, and heat is one of them for me. Seventies one week and nineties the next is just not fair.

Speaking of not fair, we were discussing the opinion held by one Evan “Bubba” Hoakum that his time had arrived. I was not the one to tell him that his ship would never come in, at least as regards pastorship at The Full Gospel Original Church of God. Pedigree aside, Bubba was not pastor material. Whether he ever had the potential can be debated. Certainly before the years of physical abuse took its toll, Bubba stood his best chance.

Contrary to Evangelical belief, sparing the rod just might be the best parenting. Especially if the rod is going to be used against the child’s head. Maybe Bubba had his best chance when DFCS came out to have a look when he was eight or so. I imagine it would have been very difficult for the DFCS agent to remove Bubba from his home, in spite of all of the signs of physical abuse. Bubba was the son of a well respected preacher in a small community where everyone knew everything about each other. More importantly, no one told anything about a member of the community to an outsider. The grammar school teacher that called DFCS to investigate the issue was gone the next year. Everyone learned a lesson, and went on about their business.

Bubba learned to endure his lot with a grin on his face, much like he was displaying to me from across the table at the IHOP. How he managed to keep his pancakes in his mouth while grinning in his toothless countenance was a great mystery. My guess is his table manners had been taught to him with as strict a dictum as his Bible verses. It is the pastor’s fate to break bread with as many members of his congregation as he can. Spewing food while asking the faithful to dig “just a little deeper” each Sunday might not have a positive result in the collection plate.

Bubba’s manners were sound. In fact, if it were not for the fact that “good sense had been beat out of him”, as Granny Waller used to say, Bubba had all of the tools. Bubba had been handling snakes as far back as he could remember. I suspect his daddy put one in the crib with him. The snakes responded well to Bubba, and even Old Ben seemed to up his deportment a notch when Bubba was in charge.

Bubba has a beautiful deep bass singing voice. It is the deep bass of a three pack a day smoker, without the occasional rasp and coughing. I assume that deep voice would carry a sermon well into the rafters, even at the Crystal Palace. Bubba’s knowledge of the hymnal is complete and allowed him to elevate his status to choir director when Ophelia Bottoms was moved to the Crystal Palace. I’m sure that the Elders moving Ms. Bottoms away from the clutches of the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread is one of the reasons that Bubba feels like the third time might be the charm.

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