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Location: DownByTheRiver, Central Iowa, United States

Husband of the world's most wonderful wife, father of the world's four most brilliant children, grandfather to the world's eight most beautiful granddaughters and two handsomest grandsons

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Billy Bob Rising

Today began with the drive home from work for the RRR. After the overcast skies of the last few days, the spring sun was like a kiss on the green hillsides and the rows of corn now clearly discernible in the fields. I practiced my sermon on the way home and then read it to Mrs. RRR as she "put on her face." This was, naturally, without all the "that reminds me of a story" that would come later. I've already shared that Breaking of Bread weekly and the method of doing it is one of the distinctives of brethren assemblies. The men speak or suggest songs or read scripture or pray as they feel led by the Spirit. Greg asked that we sing The Old Rugged Cross. The song gives me goose bumps and makes me smile also as it is one of the ones I used to sing out to the accompaniment of the M Farmall as I cultivated back in the '60's.

Sometimes the spirit of worship is almost overwhelming. I broke the loaf in remembrance and my hands trembled at the thought of what I was doing. To symbolize the breaking of Christ's body is no small thing. The idea that my body should be used for sin when his was broken for me; that my hands might shed innocent blood when his were pierced for me; that my feet should run after sin after his were nailed to a cross for me; all these things made me "look on him, who we had pierced." Studied ritual done to background music in a mega-church cannot compare to the experience of a simple feast at his invitation, at least not for me.

The sermon seemed to go well, at least everyone's attention was held and there was no nodding off. Little Thomas, Greg's son, who is so delightfully into the terrible two's, lit up like a Christmas Tree when I was finished and was the first out into the isle to shake my hand. Mrs. RRR seemed impressed too, and celebrated by making us her high protein, low carb pancakes with real butter and real maple syrup and pork sausage on the side. Then to sleep, blessed sleep, warmed by the heating pad and wonderfully snuggled by Mrs. RRR during her nap, the day passed into dreamland. I awakened in time to talk on the phone to Youngest Son and to his 16 month old daughter who squealed and giggled at my antics.

Another short nap and it was time to fire up Billy Bob and drive in to work. With the Green Hornet quietly awaiting major transplant surgery, the only choice was the 1987 Dodge 1/2 ton pickup. Named Billy Bob because he's huge, white, battered, ugly, missing front teeth (the grill), drinks like a fish, and works like a dog. Totaled in an accident years ago and given to Youngest Son who drug him out of the weeds, beat the body into usable shape, wired in a couple of headlights and installed a stereo of questionable ownership and massive speakers, he became ours through one of those complicated exchanges of property and money that occur between parents and their newly married children. Billy Bob will make 17 miles per gallon on his best day but will haul 3000 lbs. of gravel, triple his rated capacity, without sagging and at 65 miles per hour. Heaven help you if you have to go for the brakes with that load and at that speed.

So I drove him into the Big City tonight, dressed in black jeans, boots, and black tee shirt, full moon over my left shoulder, Lynrd Skynrd pounding out Sweet Home Alabama, sipping strong black coffee.

Red Neck satori.


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