The Wetbehindtheears Preacher

The Wetbehindtheears Preacher

The wetbehindtheears preacher from up north

wanted to make inroads early on with his Southern

Presbyterian, but mostly Baptist at heart and surely

in practice not bothering much with theology

country congregation, so he volunteered to

 

help the boys with chopping tobacco. The dusty,

tobacco stained overalled men with scuffed up,

beaten down Wolverine work boots, deep, deep

down dirty almost up to the first knuckle fingernails

of hands holding super sharp scythes, just looked at

 

him with smiles on their faces. “Here you go, Rever-

end or can I call you Brother Bob?” as he thrust a sickle,

handle first the preacher’s way. “Brother Bob is fine,

just not Pastor Bob, please,” which he thought a con-

descending, patronizing, contradiction in terms used

 

by preachers who want to show that they are just

ordinary Joes, but who really hold a position of authority

and holy distinction like Pastor Joe over those in the

pews. “We’re all brothers and sisters in Jesus,” he offered

in a lame attempt by someone who wasn’t very much

 

like these particular brothers.  He didn’t have bib-

overalls much less stained bib-overalls, so he wore

his polyester jogging pants, a tee-shirt from a 10-K

race he had been in up in Bowling Green and a pair

of Brooks running shoes and a Nike sweat band.

 

“What do you want me to do?”  “First thing, watch out

for your toes. Those fancy tennis shoes ain’t gonna offer

much protection.”  He watched the brothers cutting down

the plant with one swipe of the blade.  “Better yet, give me

back that blade, Brother Bob. You’ll hold this here stick and

 

when we hand you the cut tobacco, you jam it on the stick

and when the stick is full just hoist it on the frame set up

in the bed of the truck and grab yourself another stick.

Others will be doin’ the same thing so watch out.” Well,

the egalitarian, just-one-of-the-boys brother took the stick

 

and proceeded to get stuck between rows of hanging tobacco.

Those full sticks were coming fast and furious.  “Where’d the

preacher go?” Brother Bob ducked down, crawled underneath

the tobacco and raised up thinking he would joke his way out

and said, “Once I was blind but now I can see,” followed

 

by “Once I was lost but now I’m found. Tah dah!” as he came

back up on the outside of the tobacco hanging on the stick.

Unfortunately, just as he uttered “Tah dah!” he encountered a

cottering pin sticking out of the corner of the frame and sliced

his skull to the bone and  four inches long.  The blood of the

 

lamb spurted everywhere, some landing as far as the door

handle of the house next door. His workday ended after

just four minutes on the job.  “Somebody take this young

and innocent brother next door to get a towel.” All the others

kept working. They had to get the tobacco in that night.  Head

 

wrapped in a towel, he drove himself into town looking like a

young, bloody Sikh.  “Wasn’t that that new preacher? Sure

doesn’t look like a Presbyterian to me.” a woman said as he

sped by. The men just shook their heads as he left, no one

offering to drive him. The tobacco had to get put up in the barn.

 

It was Saturday. Sunday, his second with the congregation,

he would have the turban off, but a big, really big patch in its place.

He would stand in his black robe and red face and watch the

sisters dressed in their Sunday best with big smiles on their faces.

The brothers would duck down in the pews trying hard to hold

 

back laughs and tears streaming down their faces while they

picked at those ever-dirty nails. Brother Bob would ask them

to bow their heads and shut their  eyes and wait on the Lord

in silence, emphasizing  “silence,” while he would shout the

pastoral prayer over the giggles and guffaws.

1 thought on “The Wetbehindtheears Preacher

  1. Great story/reminds me of being tripped into a pile of fresh manure when I was stacking haybales,wearing a new pair of jeans,trying not to soil them/got grounded in work,obviously.

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