Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lee Becomes a Church-goer

Lee's in his 80s. He's old fashioned. In the summer time, when I'm putting down Bti to kill mosquito larva, if I'm in his area, he'll follow me around with his golf cart. He lifted my backpack sprayer once. It weighs about 50 or 60 pounds fully loaded. Lee was outraged. He feels strongly that this job is too much for a woman.

It doesn't offend me.

I know there is nothing condescending about his attitude.

It springs from concern,

from a time when a man's job was to take care of his woman.

He doesn't know any other way.

I don't see any reason to be taking on the job of teaching him.

He is what he is.

I am what I am.


Lee and his wife Jean, hold down the other end of our church pew on Sunday. Our family used to take up quite a bit more room in the pew, but the kids have grown up, and left one by one. And now Cara has changed churches, so it's just us. Lee is probably one of the most profound people I know. He knows the Bible inside and out, and he knows it in a way that comes from not only reading it, but from really thinking about what he's read, really applying what he's read about and thought about to what he sees happening around him, so when Lee says something like, "You know, I been thinking about chickens..." I stop what I'm doing and prepare my heart to listen, because Lee is going to say something marvelous.
And he always does.


Lee makes no secret of the fact that he was a hellraiser in his younger days. This still grieves him some. Lee is still, for all of his reading and praying, a man who is rough around the edges. That roughness just serves to bring his theology into even sharper, clearer focus.

The contrast is kind of shocking sometimes.


Once Lee told us how he came to be a church-goer. He was a wild boy whose Mama dragged him to our church every Sunday while he was growing up. When he got to be a young man, he simply quit going. He married Jean in our church, and the when the kids began to come, Jean brought them to church every Sunday.
Lee stayed home.

It wasn't that he didn't believe in God.

He did.

He just really did not like church.


One day, the preacher pulled up in the driveway and walked into the garage where Lee was working. The preacher tells him that the church needs a Sunday school superintendent, and that God has put Lee square into to the preacher's mind. Lee looked right back at him, and says, in his direct way, "Well, I believe that you're not thinking right. I'm not a church goer. You need to look for someone else to be your Sunday school superintendent." The preacher tried, in vain, to convince Lee of God's vision.
Lee held to his opinion.
The preacher headed back to the car.


In Lee's words, "Well, all of a sudden there was a flash of light! The loudest boom you ever heard! Knocked me right down. My ears were ringing, and I was sitting on the ground, looking up at a big hole in my garage roof. I couldn't figure it out at all. Lightning had struck my garage and blown the cupola clear off the top of it. The preacher came running back in, and I looked at him and said, 'You know, I've been thinking. I'll be your Sunday school superintendent.'
I've been coming to church ever since."


The entire church rocked with laughter. We just howled. When the laughter began to subside, Karen, our present Sunday school superintendent piped up from the back, in her sweet ladylike voice, "Well lucky for me, when I was asked, I just said yes."

The laughter started again.


Mikey said...

I would consider that a sign from God, lol. That's a good story. He sounds like an interesting man to know.

debby said...

Top notch. One of my favorite people.

jeanie said...

lol that is a great yarn!!!

Redlefty said...


Although Greek mythology (Zeus) may have been a logical choice as well after that experience!

debby said...

If he'd been talking to Juno just prior to the lightning, probably would have ascribed it to Zeus. However, it was the local Methodist preacher.....

The funny thing was that this anecdote became a church legend. His wife Jean pointed out that she was watching dishes in the kitchen. In the 50s, counters had metal stripping at the edges. She said the jolt of electricity shot through that strip like a giant punch in the stomach. She didn't think that was fair. After all, she'd been going to church right along....

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

What a story! Lightning struck and it did a lot of good.

PaintedPromise said...

awesome story!!!!!