Caussey's Corner

Are You The Preacher Man? The Adventures of a Bible Salesman

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Back in my room, I opened the sack. It contained small jars of jelly, okra, corn and numerous other items.

Three days later on another dirt road, a large group of children stepped out. They gathered around me. “Big Mama, she died,” said one. “Please come with us.”

We walked for a long time. I was completely lost.

I could hear movement and voices of a large crowd before we reached the clearing. When we stepped out I was overwhelmed. The clearing was full of people. There were several hundred. They started to applaud and wave white handkerchiefs at my appearance and move toward me.

Now I know how Caesar must have felt upon entering Rome after defeating the Germanic Tribes.

Someone brought me a dipper of cold water.

A man approached me. “Preacher Man, Big Mama wanted you to preach her funeral. The church won’t hold everyone, so we are going to let you do your preaching outside. Folks from all over the county are here. They have been arriving all day. We brought in a flatbed trailer and have the preaching stand and the coffin on the trailer. Follow me,” he said, leading me toward a rickety ladder at the backside of the trailer.

Standing next to the coffin, I looked out at a sea of smiling, black faces. I laid my hand on the coffin and prayed for help. What would I say? I had made a “D” in Bible. I heard a lot of sermons but never preached before.

So, I started out by talking about Big Mama. How much she loved Jesus and how much Jesus loved each of us. Moved on to some Bible stories I had heard or read about. Read some scriptures.

The more movement I displayed and the louder I spoke, the more excited and encouraging the crowd became. Occasionally, there was spontaneous singing. I just stood there and sang along. When the singing stopped, I went back to preaching. Several ladies passed out in the crowd. I thought it was my preaching but then realized it had to be the heat.

Are You The Preacher Man? The Adventures of a Bible Salesman

Photo: pxhere.com

After two hours, I was becoming exhausted. Someone brought me a dipper of water and a chair. The crowd seem to grow. I preached on.

Finally, soaking wet with sweat, I concluded the sermon.

We moved to the cemetery, and after some more preaching and singing, we buried Big Mama.

There was a big meal after the funeral. I was filled with praise and some of the best food I had ever eaten.

A man drove me on a tractor to pick up my bike, handing me another sack full of vegetables. He took me all the way to the college dorm. I never really understood how he knew where I lived.

I sold numerous Bibles over the next two weeks. I would knock on a door. Someone would peek out. Then smile and ask me if I was the Preacher Man. When I responded yes, they invited me in for some sweet tea and a Bible purchase, always followed by fresh greens and a sugar biscuit.

Every day I ate lunch at some rural grocery store. My lunch consisted of some summer sausage, pork skins, hunk of onion, and chunk of yellow cheese. Washed down with an RC Cola. Finishing with a moon pie.