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Brother Godfinger would stand there under that damn spotlight of his and he’d
holler out to God to give him one last chance to heal us sinners. He wore a
throat mike connected to a 500 watt amplifier and there were speakers all around
the tent – you could hear that voice of his for miles. He’d get the people so
worked up under the tent they’d begin shoutin’ with him and between the whole
lot of ‘em hollerin’ you’d swear God could’a heard them if He had a mind to.
Finally the cripples would start down the aisle hobblin’ along on their crutches
and their artificial legs. They was all part of the show – drivers, tent
riggers. The crutches was part of the show too. Ol’ Godfinger didn’t leave
nothin’ to chance. Nobody knew who these people were, ‘cause by that time they
were so worked up they’d believe anything.
So Brother Godfinger would come down off his podium and the overhead lights
would follow him. He’d meet the cripples half way down the aisle holdin’ his
Bible high and layin’ his finger on each and every one of them, shoutin’ out for
God to give these poor sinners one more chance, and one by one they’d cast aside
their artificial legs, and throw down their crutches, then they’d start dancin’
in the aisle. They’d go up and take up the collection plates that lined the
front of the stage and pass among the congregation for the Lord’s offering. The
crutches and such would be gathered up, carried out of the tent and put back in
the truck for tomorrow’s show.
He had a double jointed man with him – “Slats,” his name was - used to be in the
circus up north. He’d lay in the aisle all knotted up, lookin’ like he’d spent
his whole life inside a beer keg. When Godfinger touched him he’d start to
tremble all over like he was connected to a light socket and one by one his arms
and legs would snap back into place. He’d be shoutin’ along with Brother
Godfinger and the crowd would be hollerin’ bloody murder.
What put him outta business was when he claimed that God had given him the gift
of walkin’ on water. It was an added attraction in a tent you had to pay to see
after the Bible meetin’. He had this four foot high plastic pool, and when the
show pulled into town he’d run a hose from the pool down to the town fire
hydrant. By show time the pool would be full. Well, just below the surface of
the water there was a clear plastic shelf and he would walk back and forth along
the shelf in his bare feet and everybody was convinced Brother Godfinger was
walkin’ on the water – that is – until some doubtin’ Thomas come along and
pulled the plug on the pool and left Brother Godfinger tryin’ to hold his
balance on the glass shelf.
I don’t expect we’ll ever see such good times again.
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