Do you ever dream? As for me, I've been there, done that many times. They say, whomever they may be, that its perfectly normal for one to dream whatever's on the mind, when they fall asleep. Nonetheless, dreams have a way of sticking with us, or they do me. Like my dream world adventure with Brother Paul.
If ever there was an authentically Heaven-created 'Earth Angel,' it was Brother Paul. He was surely Heaven personified in the flesh, a character straight out of the halls of Glory.
By human nature, Brother Paul could be a little stubborn at times. However, whenever a tragedy happened to strike our little community, Brother Paul's religion was brought into action. He was right there 'Johnny on the spot', religion in action, so to speak. Like the time that inquisitive little neighbor kid got stuck in the water well, and the like. Yes, he was surely God's gift to our little community.
Brother Paul was often-times referred to as the town's Resident Theologian, as he was always ready to help out the community by offering his down-to-earth home-spun religious stimulation and spiritual growth, as needed.
Yes, Brother Paul was quite a character. He had his ups and down, but he was loved by all.
Thus, this nice little taste of spiritual fiction, portraying the other side of life's dream world. Therefore, I trust you will enjoy this blog a bit. Please continue!
"For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." (Psalm 91:11-12)
I had just finished my long-anticipated Bible seminary dissertation on 'The Old Time Religion Syndrome.' This project really drained me. I just seemed to be tired to the bone. I guess that's why I apparently slipped off in a well deserved and needed snooze.
The last thing I remember before falling off to sleep, was my editing of this all-important seminar manuscript, as I really wanted to give my hero, Brother Paul, his just dues. We all miss him so.
All of a sudden, I found myself sitting in a little country church. The wall calendar showed the day to be Sunday. But this little church was empty, except for my presence. However, it wasn't long until I heard the footsteps of someone close at hand. Looking up, I just couldn't believe my eyes. Here he was, dressed in his usual Sunday best and carrying that old worn leather-bound Bible, held together with all the duct tape.
"Brother Paul, is it really you?" I exclaimed. "It just can't be, for we put you to rest last week. I still remember all that good singing at your memorial service. And my brief eulogy, comparing your life to that of the Old Time Religion syndrome, seemed to be a big hit."
Well, at first as was his wont, Brother Paul didn't respond or say a word, he just stood there, for what seemed like an eternity, Bible in hand. Subsequently, he began to speak, not directly to me, but seemingly to the entire world. I've heard this testimony before, but it never got old. And, as usual, out of respect, l listened once again very attentively.
However, this time was different. Brother Paul spoke as if he had been there and done that, like he had actually been in the very presence of the Spirit Himself. I'd never heard anything like it before coming from Brother Paul, either in our little First Encounter Community church, or beyond. Unfortunately Brother Paul had been born with the speech impediment of stuttering.
Having been carried away by Brother Paul's unusually remarkable presentation, it really seemed as if I had essentially heard a noise like Heaven's rushing wind filling this little church sanctuary. (Acts 2:2) In fact it appeared as if those Spirit tongues of fire actually rested on my head as well. (Acts 2:3)
The Scriptures seemed to roll off his tongue, not from reading his hand-held Bible, but from what seemed to be a real life personal experience. It was as if I was present during Peter's famous Pentecost message, whereby about three thousand souls were saved. (Acts 2:14-36)
Then, as if by divine guidance, Brother Paul suddenly stopped his message momentarily. Pointing that big oversized finger of his directly at me, he then concluded his thoughts.
"My son, please thank Pastor Johnson, all the Deacons and Elders, and my fellow members of the First Encounter Church, for putting up with me these many years. I realize sometimes I could be a little obstinate. And my stubbornness often seemed to get in the way of my Old Time Religion by getting the best of me. Yes, I was pigheaded at times, tenacious and head- strong, to say the least."
"That's all over now, my son, for I really love you all," he continued, "even the senior saint, who often disturbed the entire congregation by snoring in church, and the lady who always made those big hard-to-eat dinner rolls for our church suppers."
Not being able to talk much, because I was fighting back those big tears flowing down my cheeks, I simply thanked Brother Paul as he gave me another of his big breathtaking hugs. "That's OK, Brother Paul, we all love you too, " I replied.
Then, I got another sudden heavenly surprise, as Brother Paul told me he had some other people he wanted me to meet.
Lo and behold, it was Mom and Dad! They both looked absolutely radiant in their shining white garments. What a reunion it was, even though I couldn't talk for the tears of joy. Finally gaining my composure and giving them both a big hug, I just had to tell them how great they both looked, Why, they hadn't changed a bit, these many years.
"Thank you Brother Paul, for giving me such a surprise," I cried. "Brother Paul, Brother Paul, where are you? Where on earth did you go? We were just getting started with our little visit. That's not fair. Please, Brother Paul, where are you?"
However, what happened next was the surprise of my long teaching career. I woke up to find myself slumped over in my man cave easy chair, my laptop computer going wild, with one beep after another. I must have had hundreds of messages, all thanking me for Brother Paul's nice eulogy.
My website went completely viral. But this time I happened to be wide awake. Appearing on my laptop screen was what had to be a divinely constructed message. The Board of Supervisors of my little Bible college had announced to the whole world that I had been chosen for a Senior Professorship appointment, the one position I had craved for several years. I had just about given up any hope of this prestigious appointment.
I couldn't constrain my modern day conservative religion any longer. I just had to give out a big shout. It was that Old Time Religion personified in me. Hallelujah and Amen!
Yes, our God does work in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. To a man's way of thinking, His works are truly mysterious; sometimes, we do not have a clue how He works, as was in my case. But miracles do happen, on earth, as well as in heaven. Amen!
“Look at the nations and watch — and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told." (Habakkuk 5:1)
There's an old adage which states, "We are the only Bible some people will ever read."
Such was the case with this fictional blog's character, known as Brother Paul. And I pray it's the same with you. We all are to let our lights shine in whatever circumstances we find ourselves to be in. (Matthew 5:14-16)
Please be sure to read the sequel to this blog entitled "I Was So Ready For Worship", registered on this same web site. Thanks!
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