If you’ve attended church for any period of time, then you’ve certainly had the opportunity to participate in a revival.  These affairs usually last anywhere from a weekend to a full week.  They consist of repeated efforts to compel individuals to surrender to the Christian experience.  Night after night the message is resounded with enough guilt thrown in for a lifetime of misery.  Each night the same people listen intently nodding in approval that they are not as bad as those others who aren’t present this very evening.  God will get them and we all will be so much better for it.  Amen.

These revivals usually include an evangelist who brings his traveling show from week to week to the ever faithful.  These men are some of the most arrogant, pompous people who tell of their sordid past and perfect present.  Their stories perfected after years of telling to get just the desired emotional effect.  Pastors who bring these men into their churches usually give wide berth to the evangelist as many freedoms are needed for the event to work.  Lesser staff members (like me) find their roles changed to gopher status and the requests tend to the extreme.  Any failure to grant a vapid desire results in a breakdown where the Spirit of God will be withheld.  Who knew how much trouble could result from not putting enough cream in a cup of coffee.

I served a church that took great pride in their annual revivial.  The anticpation was felt for months prior to its inception.  Everything seemed to dovetail into making this years revivial even better than last years.  Imagine how many people will be touched if we just make sure everything is perfect was the unified battle cry. 

I must remind the few readers of my blog that my youth was filled with misadventures and mischievous actions designed just to make me smile. As I aged my maturity didn’t advance proportionally.

The evangelist arrived complete with his camper trailer and I was chosen to help him get the setup arraigned behind the church.  Seemed like I had reserved a wonderful place for the camper but my location just wouldn’t do.  Back and forth moved the camper until just the right spot was found.  I experienced similar adventures watching my dog pace back and forth across the yard looking for just the right place to pee.

He immediately determined I was available to take care of his every whim.  While working as a minister one has many opportunities to be of service, unfortunately,  I lacked the important gene that allowed me comfort as others used and manipulated me.  It didn’t take long to realize this man of God who was going to straighten out our church was a complete  ass.  My salvation experience was relatively new and I didn’t suffer an ass with much kindness nor generosity.

I knew quickly this man needed to be brought down a notch or two and I was just the man to help him.  I would minister to this man in a way he hasn’t experienced at any time in his career, after all,  I was a servant.

Our church had an early version of a wireless microphone that the on/off control was managed in the sound booth.  Somehow,  I was chosen to run the sound during the evening revival service.  Miracles come shaped in all forms.  Just before the service was to begin the evangelist wanted to do a sound check.  Wouldn’t you know it, I seemed to do everything wrong.  Surely the Spirit couldn’t work in a situation like this I was reminded.  After what seemed like an eternal browbeating, the sound was just right for an evening of worship.  And then it happened.

Inside the sanctuary were  a smattering of enthusiasts.  Early arrivers whose mission is to make sure everything is handled properly.  In total, maybe 15-20 people watched as the evangelist excused himself to prepare for the events later that evening.  His problem was, his preparation involved a challenged effort upon a porcelain throne that was broadcast with full color to all who desired.  Shame on me for not immediately extinguishing the microphone, shame on me for allowing everyone to know the vigor he brought to the challenge, shame on me for finding the moment so (excuse the pun) stinking funny.  But to quote Velma Kelly and Roxy Hart…”He had it coming.”

As the evangelist strode into the sanctuary, impressed with his recent achievements, the look of confusion that peviously had been found on the congregants faces, was quickly erased.  People began putting together the cause of the mini concert, along with the fact he had on the microphone and suddenly people found themselve trying to suppress their giggles.  These attempts proved a fruitless endeavour as laughter rang forth across the room.

I allowed the evil grin to remain on my face the rest of the evening.  I even enjoyed the mini conversations taking place in the pews all around me.  Word was out and the evil grin I carried morphed into a silly grin on the people in the church.  I guess it became hard to take someone too seriously who shares such intimate parts of their person as he had unknowingly done.  The revival somehow ended sooner than expected and the evangelist informed us he would leave the next afternoon.  I feel my actions may have led to the demise of our church’s revival that year, maybe so.  But revenge can be sooooooo sweet!

As a final note, I should confess that I gathered some of my trouble making college kids and visited the evangelist for the purpose of giving him a proper good-bye.  I wish I could say I went to him and made amends, I chose not to.  Instead, we approached his camper in the early morning hours, a time when proper people chose to sleep, to prepare for a final act of insubordination.  As the firecrackers were exploding outside his camper, we hid to watch the festivities.  He was not an attractive man at that hour, especilly under those conditions.  The comb-over that was so perfectly coiffed the night before spiraled in long strands to one side of his head.  He  seemed quite angry and agitated by the fireworks show we chose for him.  Talk about ingratitude.  “I’m going to kick some a**”, came roaring out of his sanctified mouth to all who would listen.  As we merrily ran away we heard these fateful words, “I’m never coming back to this church again.” 

I smiled and felt like my work was done.


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