Mountaineer gets thrown out of church!
We all know far too well how hard it is to get people to come to church. But until our recent trip to West Virginia, I had never heard of anybody getting “thrown out.”
But I had never heard of our good friend “Pedi” either, until then.
After one hound dog Koo-Jo hunted me up on the top of the mountain and led me home (as we told you some weeks ago), my buddy “Bear” got to telling me another “hound dog” story. We say “hound dog,” understanding that these mountaineer dogs could claim ancestry to any number of descendants, I am sure.
Bear said that he used to have a dog that would have even rivaled Koo-Jo in making his rounds up and down those mountains as if he owned a good part of them. The hound’s name was Pedi, although later he took on another name because of some trouble he got into getting into the farmers’ chickens up on the mountain. As we said, he thought he owned that mountain; and he may have, but – on at least one occasion – he owned a rear-end full of buckshot that Bear spent half a day doctoring, a gift from an upset mountaineer who was more fond of his chickens than he was of “Buckshot.” But it didn’t keep Pedi down long, and he was proudly out patrolling his mountain the next week.
But every criminal has his good side, and the same certainly can be said of Pedi. In fact, he may have been leading the pack in many ways, because Bear said that he became one of the most dependable church-goers they had up in those hills. Hardly a Sunday would go by without Pedi making his appearance. He may have gone “out on the town” the night before, but come Sunday morning he was one of the first ones there dressed in his finest. Of course, all he had was that one suit, but sometimes he’d add a feather or two for style.
The folks never let Pedi actually come in the church, but I am sure he got enough religion just sitting on the steps listening to that good-old, down-home, country, gospel singing every Sunday morning. Things seemed to work out fine for the old hound dog. He could paint the town – or “mountain,” I guess – red at night, then be the first to come to church to repent the next Sunday. I’d have to say if we all were that quick to repent the world would be a better place.
Although they never let Pedi in the church, that is not to say he never GOT in! Because he did – at least once. Bear – perhaps the second most unpopular mountaineer to some because he owned that feather-scattering hound dog – also did a good bit of preaching down at the church. One Sunday morning, Bear said, somebody accidentally left the front door ajar, so while he was up preaching Pedi decided he would take a peek inside. But Pedi never understood moderation, so once he was inside he decided he would go up to the front to see Bear.
Bear saw him coming down the aisle and, at first thought, was proud of the young fella for walking up front to make his confession. He said he hoped that some others would follow, but nobody did. Bear stopped his sermon, told Pedi to sit down there in the floor and not to get up. Pedi did just as he was told and just sat there for a good while listening and, I am sure, regretting his previous night’s behavior.
But some of the ladies in the congregation had brought two potted-plants of yellow flowers and set them right up front where Pedi was. As Bear continued his sermon, he got to watching Pedi; and he could see that his attention span on the sermon was on par with a 3-year-old’s, because he had stopped looking at Bear and had started eyeing the plants.
Bear’s fears were realized when, after a little bit, Pedi eased up the way some people do about ten minutes into a sermon. Bladders, as we know, can only handle so much preaching. As soon as Pedi got up, Bear knew they were in trouble because he knew Pedi had no idea where the boys’ room was. He had studied those flowers, sitting there drying out in that hot mountain church, and felt it was his duty to make a contribution, even though it wasn’t even time to pass the basket.
Obviously, Pedi didn’t make it through the rest of the sermon. But we think he did make history. Pedi, we believe, became the first mountaineer ever to get thrown out of church for making a glad and generous contribution.
Steve Bowen, a former Granger, lives and works in Red Oak, Texas.