Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 16) Matrisse … August 14th, 2016

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Reverend Meningsbee

The Garsonville church congregation came ricocheting out of the sanctuary, bouncing off the walls like a red rubber ball tossed by a naughty toddler.

They were so pleased with themselves.

Those who had participated in the “Group Sermonette” reprised their roles to the delight of listeners, as the individuals who were passed over by the lottery of numbers sat with a blending of jealousy over being left out and excitement over when they, too, would be asked to be leaders in the Reverend’s Round Robin.

Meningsbee had barely made his way out the door when he was greeted by Matrisse. She asked to see him for a moment, so the good reverend followed her over to a secluded alcove and sat down on a bench.

Now…Matrisse had not been one of the early encouragers to Reverend Meningsbee. She did not criticize him, nor did she leave and join the “Express” congregation. She just watched–carefully.

Although only fifty years old, she had a depth of soul and a rigidity of countenance which reminded him of a giant eagle perched on a high mountain, peering down at the flightless mortals below.

One day she just called and asked if she could come over and see the preacher. She brought chicory and sticky buns, and for three hours the two souls enjoined.

Meningsbee learned much.

Matrisse was the only human of color in the Garsonville community. Her father was a Cherokee chief–retired–and her mother was a Creole dame from New Orleans who dabbled in the “dark arts.” So Matrisse grew up learning the smoking end of a peace pipe and on rainy evenings, found herself digging in the muddy soil to retrieve night crawlers and crickets for her mother to use in favored potions.

Matrisse was a delicious milky-brown color, which in a normal city would render her nearly invisible, but in Garsonville made her appear like she was fresh off the boat from Africa. In her lifetime she had gone from being called “nigger” to more recently being referred to as a “treasure of our community with a colorful personality.”

Meningsbee knew one thing about Matrisse–she was the kind of woman to listen to because she had spent much of her life hearing nonsense, and was able to pull out nuggets of gold from the rubble.

Once they sat down in the alcove, she wasted no time. “Who is this woman you have brought to our church?”

Meningsbee replied, “Kitty? She’s just a girl.”

Matrisse fired back, “Girls do not have boobies and babies.”

The pastor had no reply. He knew it was time to listen.

Matrisse colored in the picture. “I will not take much of your time. I know because you’re a man who has a generous heart, but often a clumsy understanding of pioneer people, that you probably plan to lodge the girl and her baby in your home as an act of Christian charity.”

Actually, Meningsbee didn’t know what his intentions were, but had no reason to argue with the assertion.

Matrisse marched on. “You cannot do this. You are a man, even though you think you are of God. I mean, you know you’re of God, but you’re also a man. What I’m saying is, a man of God is still more man than God. Even if you would never lay a hand on this young girl, everybody would have visions of you fondling her, making wild passionate love to her, and never give you the benefit of the doubt, even if you were remaining pure and chaste.”

Meningsbee hadn’t even thought about it. Any of it. He started to object, but Matrisse interrupted.

“I’m not asking your opinion on this. I am telling you that I will take this woman into my home for two weeks and treat her as my daughter. And her little child will become my pappoose. That’s fourteen days. In that fourteen days, you should talk to her, find out what she wants to do–but make sure that she does not accidentally turn into a Jezebel who comes and destroys this work of God. Do you understand me?”

Meningsbee did.

Matrisse disappeared, and he sat for a moment, thinking about her words. Perhaps they were crude, but they were true to the understanding she possessed of the locals based upon the abundance of experience she had with their tongue-wagging.

At length, he emerged from the alcove and saw her with Kitty and Hapsy, heading toward the door, with Kitty turning helplessly to wave as the juggernaut of activity known as Matrisse pushed them toward home.

Meningsbee smiled.

Sometimes every human being needs to have saints who come along to help make dreams lose their cloudiness…and offer clearer skies.

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Ask Jonathots … June 11th, 2015

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I know this question gets asked a lot, but with all the flooding and tornadoes going on, and people losing their homes, I can’t help but wonder why God allows all of this destruction?

There are two forces at work on Earth: Nature and human desire.

Human desire wanted to build a city below sea level in Louisiana. It is called New Orleans. Mother Nature creates storms to replenish the earth with water and has thoroughly warned us that anything below sea level will…well, be below sea level.

As long as we live lives where we believe that nature is our enemy or that nature can be ignored because of our prayers, we will suffer some of the painful conclusions that befall those who ignore the obvious.

For instance, certainly by this time, since we know that a lot of tornadoes move through Oklahoma, it might be smart to build a system that protects people–and even their homes–from destruction. The fact that the people in that region believe that the present tornado might just be the last one could be classified as a bit ignorant.

You would have much less destruction and loss of life on Earth if the humans who have desire took into consideration the natural order, the way of the earth and the history of how things work.

As long as human desire ignores Mother Nature, she will plow right through our plans and leave many people sad.

So what can we do? Learn how things work.

For instance, instead of arguing about climate change, why not just take the precaution that the climate is changing and make a few adjustments in order to submit to the trend?

But I will tell you–prayers to God will not stop the movement of Mother Nature. God uses the natural order to bring balance to everyone, so that it rains on the just and the unjust.

So what can you do?

Don’t build your house on the sand.

And if you do, be prepared for your living room to be filled with 4 feet of water.

 

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Untotaled: Stepping 23 (June 19th, 1965) Bumps, Clumps, Humps, Lumps…Mumps July 19, 2014

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Mackey lived right next door to me. He was still my best friend, even though as we got older we found ourselves in different circles.

He got the mumps.

Since vaccinations have come along and practically eliminated this condition, people don’t realize how frightening it was in 1965, to contract the mumps. Not only was it uncomfortable, painful and extremely ugly, but there was a danger that if you didn’t take care of yourself, the condition could travel down to the lower regions which should only be visited by your soapy washcloth and your future wife.

Being a good friend, I went over to see Mackey and keep him company. To ease his discomfort, Mackey’s mother made a delicious chocolate malt with little marshmallows on top, which Mackey was too miserable to consume, only able to take a couple of swigs. So being a devoted comrade, I stepped in and finished it for him so his mother wouldn’t yell at him.

About ten days after Mackey and I shared this dairy treat, I noticed that my face was swelling up. I looked in the mirror and my whole head region looked like the sludge and silt gathering at the bottom of the Mississippi Delta. I felt like New Orleans on a cloudy day.

The doctor was called, confirmed that I had mumps and said I needed to go to bed–and that I shouldn’t goof off and walk around, tempting the little viruses to traverse to the South Pole. Well, my friend Benny showed up and he was so intent on making me happy that I got up to talk to him, which led to me walking around.

Sure enough, two days later I woke up swollen in my Southern Hemisphere.

It was so ugly–not only because of the discomfort. No, mainly because I had to let my mother and the doctor peer at it. Gross.

The doctor wasn’t much help, sternly saying I shouldn’t have let the condition happen in the first place. Then he said I should pack it in ice.

Now, there are many places ice shouldn’t go. I guarantee you, one of them is “down there.”

So for a whole week I was surrounded in ice like a hapless mackerel ending its journey at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Ringing in my head was the final warning from my small-town physician, saying it was likely that I would be sterile because of my mistake. I didn’t have a problem with the idea of being sterile, as far as not having children, but I was afraid it might affect my future possibilities of attracting a woman of my choice.

Even though I can’t remember how my affliction ended, mumps went away, years passed, and as it turned out, I fathered four sons.

I guess sterility was not a problem.

There should be a lesson here, and I suppose several could be derived by the more astute reader:

  • Don’t drink a chocolate malt with your mumps-infested friend.
  • Don’t go against the directions of your physician
  • Don’t allow your private areas to become public
  • Or don’t freak out because your doctor has information, trying to scare you.

Tell you what–I’ll let you take your pick. It’s a multiple choice.

My only take from the situation is to keep everything frozen away from my warm place.

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