Hello! Benjamin from Brothers Campfire here! Gather ’round and I will spin you a tale…
To our surprise, Dad woke us up on Sunday.
“Son, there is a preacher in town. Get ready, and we will go see him.”
Well, you might see a pattern from what I have said previously, but I did not like getting out of bed or doing anything for that matter.
I was a source of concern for mom and frustration for dad because I was always angry and had no zest for life.
“Dad, it’s Sunday.” “I get one shot at sleeping all day, and you go and ruin it.”
“Get your butt out of bed, young man; we are going to see the preacher.”
So I awoke from my slumber in order to avoid my father’s wrath.
Grumbling all the way, I went on down to the church house.
Everyone was dressed in some of the finest clothes I’d ever seen, with picnic baskets and blankets.
We went on inside the church, and mom and dad couldn’t find a place to sit. But there wasn’t much sitting going on, though.
Folks started clapping their hands and singing so loud it hurt my ears, some of them hooting and hollering and looking all kinds of excited.
It was actually kind of fun. Then, it got quiet all of a sudden.
A tall, thin, balding man came to the front and stared at each one of us. Reverently, my dad whispered, “That’s John Eli, the preacher.”
He carried a large, black-backed book and opened it with care.
Looking directly at my father, he smiled.
“It is good to see the Berengar family here today. It has been a long time since I’ve seen you. “To the congregation, welcome.”
“This morning, I will be reading from the ancient texts as translated by King James I of Laodicea.”
Λᚾ ᛞ ⩕ᛁ ᚱ ᛁ ᚨ ᛗ ᚨ ᚾ ᛋ ψᛖ ᚱ ᛖ ᛞ ᛏ ᚺ ᛖ ᛗ , ϟᛁ ᚾ θ ᛃ ᛖ ᛏ ᛟ ᛏ ᚺ ᛖ ⨽θ⇸ͽ, ᚠ ᛟ ᚱ ᚺ ᛖ ᚺ ᚨ ᛏ ᚺ ᛏ ᚱ ᛁ ᚢ ᛗ ᛈ ᚺ ᛖ ᛞ θ ᛚ ᛟ ᚱ ᛁ ᛟ ᚢ ᛋ ᛚ ᛃ ; ᛏ ᚺ ᛖ ᚺ ᛟ ᚱ ᛋ ᛖ ᚨ ᚾ ᛞ ᚺ ᛁ ᛋ ᚱ ᛁ ᛞ ᛖ ᚱ ᚺ ᚨ ᛏ ᚺ ᚺ ᛖ ᛏ ᚺ ᚱ ᛟ ψᚾ ᛁ ᚾ ᛏ ᛟ ᛏ ᚺ ᛖ ᛋ ᛖ ᚨ.m
The preacher spoke the text again in plain La Longi so everyone would understand.
I didn’t need a translation because it was in the language my mother spoke. She had taught me my runes after all.)
Closing the book, there was a twinkle in his eye.
“I find it amazing that Miram’s song rhymes even after translation.”
“It is said that Galvin the Bard was part of the team that King James Rainport commissioned.”
The congregation laughed, and my parents did as well.
What made me happy was when the preacher said,
“You may be seated.”
You see, it made me angry to stand, and I was relieved to sit down and rest for a bit. It seemed everyone wanted me to do something, and I didn’t want to do anything.
I was bored and looked around. Near the front sat Jabez, Jacob, Uncle Walter, and Aunt Betty.
Right behind them were some of the most beautiful girls I’d ever seen.
Dad flicked my ear, and I yelped.
“Pay attention and stop staring at the girls,” dad said sternly.
Everyone turned and looked at me, even the preacher.
The preacher smiled and continued his message, and, sorry to say,
I only remember parts of it, but this stood out to me.
“God wants to cast your problems into the sea.” “Does anyone have problems here that need prayer?”
My dad and mom stood up, and John Eli the Preacher was suddenly serious.
“Mr. Berengar, what is your requirement?”God will surely listen.”
My dad, a formidable man even for a Berengar, wept aloud and unashamedly. I had never seen him like that before, and it startled me.
“My son has had a hernia since birth, and it only grows worse.” “Please pray for my son Walter, I beg you.”
Now I didn’t want any attention brought to me, and I didn’t even know what a hernia was, but the preacher said, “Walter Berengar, would you like to come up and be prayed for?”
I looked over at Jabez up front, and he nodded his head. Even though we were not on the best terms at the moment, I knew he had good sense.
Frustrated and embarrassed, I stood up. All the pretty girls were looking at me and my angry disposition.
Self-consciously, I passed by them and covered my hand over my belly button, for it had a bump on it that the kids made fun of and the adults frowned at.
On the way up, on a corner of a pew, stood a blonde girl with blue eyes and a simple dress.
She smiled at me with a big, toothy grin. The girl next to her, probably her sister, looked at me with disdain.
I disliked her right away.
I almost forgot what I was doing, I was so distracted by her. Where I lived, there weren’t many girls, especially fair-haired ones.
The preacher wasted no time when I got to the front.
He placed his hand on my head and began hooting and hollering like no other.
The congregation did as well, and it was the strangest thing ever.
My parents came up, and he laid his hands on their heads too. He invited everyone to the front, but there wasn’t enough room.
Words were spoken and hugs were exchanged, but if a hernia was a bump on my belly, it was still there.