Friday, May 28, 2010

Jail House Blues.....

If I ever had to take a polygraph test and the question was asked, "Have you ever stolen something?"...I would have to say "yes" or I would have sent the needle spinning. If there was ever a prison for 6 year olds I would have been sentenced there. I can hear the judges gavel and his gruff words saying "GUILTY"...... oh, wait a minute! That was Mammaw Beam! Let me back up to the beginning of the story.

I guess I was about 6. I had spent Sunday afternoon with my Aunt Nita and Uncle John. Their daughter didn't live there anymore but her room was still in tact. As a kid, my favorite thing to do was open drawers and go through someone else's stuff. To me it was like going on a treasure hunt. I certainly found a treasure chest that day. Oddly, the thing that totally mesmerized me into becoming the "mini-me" of the Pink Panther", was a small hand full of tiny colored clothes pins. I plotted and planned and was successful in removing the treasure from the treasure chest......I did it! I got off scott free. Until I went to church that night.

I sat on the second pew behind Mammaw Beam. We sang the old hymns, gave in the offering plate then Granddaddy Wallace preached the sermon. At the end of the sermon was the altar call. Back then everybody had a reason to respond to the invitation and the altars were full. I think that's where I messed up. I stayed in my seat.   All was clear, I was almost home free when my great-grandmother met me eye to eye. She was getting closer and closer and I felt my cheeks turning pink. She sat down beside me and asked me if I had anything to pray about. I looked at her with my wide"innocent" eyes and said, "no mam". She asked me again and I responded the same way. How did she know? Did she have a direct line to God? If I tried to run would she catch me?

I guess I blacked out or fainted because all I remembered after that was having a come to Jesus meeting with my Mammaw's hands planted firmly on the top of my head......and her words asking God to forgive me. I cried and cried and cried at the altar that night............ because I knew I was going to have to give my little clothes pins back.

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