A Bayou Revelation

Brother Lyndon is the most fervent Southern Baptist preacher in all of Beauregard Parish.Image

That’s what Mama mumbles between her tight teeth as she nudges me, slumped over, sliding off the slick wood pew.

Brother Lyndon brought us to God—made us into church going people, put Faith in Mama’s heart.

The revival band picks up: ‘Our God is an awesome God’ we sway, shoulders like pendulums, dresses swishing searching for the Spirit.

Mama’s singing voice carries over Mrs. Trudy’s blue-tinged hair, bounces off the hymnals, travels up to Brother Lyndon.

If her eyes aren’t sealed and weighted shut seeking forgiveness from her sins,

they are pursuing salvation delivered only in Brother Lyndon’s gaze.

Give Him your attention, she says. Was she talking about God or Brother Lyndon?

In Mama’s eyes he was the Christ Incarnate.

Today’s about Temptation: Do not be lured in by the Devil’s evil doings. Do not succumb to the acts of other men. Carry Christ with you.

Mama’s entranced—how the Holy sweat rolls the Gospel’s Glory from his forehead to his necktie, and out across the congregation.

She pats the pleats of my skirt straight, settles a stray strand of hair behind her bobby pin, slips her stockinged heel in and out of her shoe.

It’s time to give to God. Mama volunteers me—her little lamb, to collect the tithes, white folded envelopes with the Givers name scripted across the front.

Mama’s pure and pious offering scrawled with thanks be to God, prayer requests (always for others), favorite verses – any reverent, righteous message she could assemble.

Services end in a potluck lunch, paper plates bend under the first-world weight, trash bags full of one-time, discard when finished luxuries.

Brother Lyndon and Mama flip through the crêpe paper pages of her gold-bordered Bible, pausing to pencil under a verse.

I loosen the W.W. J.D bracelet around my wrist, thumb the threaded fabric and try not to notice his left hand on Mama’s thigh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s