Hour of Power

I can see myself as a child of four, kneeling before the glow of a large, faux cherrywood, console television. My hands are held before me in prayer and I have tears running down my cheeks, I am alone in the room. I remember being drawn to that spot, into that position, by an ardent baritone.

I can see the others who joined me that night in accepting Jesus Christ into my heart as my personal savior, filing down the aisles of an enormous sanctuary. I can feel the electric sensation I had, a sensation I believed was the Holy Spirit entering my body. My memory transports me to that place on the floor, where I felt united with hundreds of supplicants, as Billy Graham’s tender assurances washed over us. I was saved. I was forgiven. I was a child of God, and I would always be.

The image of my child self, rapt in front of a television, and the knowledge that this was the first significant spiritual moment of my life, is bizarre and sentimental to me as an adult. Even more curious is the anxiety I developed over the household debate about the validity of the once saved always saved doctrine. Continue reading

Grandpa Mac

for Hannah

Does everyone’s life revolve around food, or is it just me? Not even my relationship with my grandfather can escape being defined by the stuff.

My grandfather E. D. was a Flier, (he went by his initials because he didn’t like his name, I won’t dis his memory by sharing it with you) my Grandmother always called him by middle name, Delton, but most people called him Mac.

Mac was a gifted flier, which worked against him, because they made him an instructor instead of letting him go into combat, which is what he really wanted to do.

Grandpa’s fate mingled with mine when he met my Grandmother, Betty Jo; she was sixteen. The circumstances surrounding their courtship are cloudy. I have heard stories from the women in my family and they are all different, my Grandmother has more than one version herself.

My impression is that it was a passionate, tumultuous affair. One thing that is certain is that they married and proceeded to have many children, 7 that is. Due to the financial burden of fatherhood my grandfather abandoned his passion, flight, and sought a stable career, typewriter repair. (I can almost hear the sigh of consolation) By the time I came on the scene Grandpa was an embittered man. I say that because I believe it’s the truth, and yet I hate to say it, because this is how I remember him. Continue reading