As implied by the title, this post is a continuation of “The Sermon.” If you haven’t already, please go check it out.
“Ha!” growled the Right Reverend A. Jordan Smith. “I can’t get many Amens today!” he bellowed; his body leaning forward; beads of sweat now rolling down his forehead in rivulets; his veined hands clutching the top of the lectern, as if he expected it to flee in fear as he vociferously challenged the congregation to pitch their spiritual fervor to an even higher height. The audience responded with shouts of “Preach!”, “Gwan nigh!”, “Yassuh”, the latter rising up from the Deacons” Amen Corner” as Deacon Charlie Tigner chimed in.
The Right Reverend A. Jordan Smith continued his discourse; “It takes a wide road for a whoremonger.” The church got quiet for a brief moment, but once over the initial “shock and awe” of the Reverend Smith’s bombardment, their zeal resumed. “Yes, I said it!” he shouted in response to the congregation’s reaction. Then on down the road he went, “It takes a wide road for a whoremonger, cause when he mess around with this woman over here, he soon got to run to the other side of the road before he get brained by a frying pan or some such!” he exclaimed emphatically, “Ha!” followed by the inevitable, punctuating growl, as he tip-toed to the other side of the road; ducking his head from an imaginary blow.
“It takes a wide-wide road for a drunkard;” Deacon Tigner suddenly developed an urge to use the men’s outhouse but he gave a final shout of “Amen Preacher!” as he exited the Amen Corner, and slid out the side door. “It takes a wide road for a drunkard, cause when he stagger to one side of the road,” Reverend Smith staggered like a drunk man across his imaginary “wide road”. “He got to have room cause he soon gonna stagger back to the other side. If it was not for such a wide road, that drunk Negro would be in a ditch somewhere; wallowing in the mud like somebody’s old sow” then, “Ha!” came the isochronous interjection. The din in the church was at a fevered pitch!
“It takes a wide road for a backslider, cause when he slide over to this side of the road, he got to cover his tracks and slide back to the other side of the road; just like one a them sidewinder snakes you hears about out there in Texas or somewhere!” As Reverend Smith made this assertion, he made a move like a snake slithering, thus causing a couple of the old sisters to swoon. Whether it was the Spirit moving or Reverend Smith’s slick moves that caused them to faint, we may never know.
“It takes a wide, wide, wide road for a gossiper.” This declaration by the Right Reverend, must have had the same kind of effect as Jesus’ words, “Lazarus come forth!”, which compelled old four days dead Lazarus, to come up out of his grave, because one of the old sisters who had latterly swooned, suddenly raised up just like Lazarus must have; eyes bucked wide! “It takes a wide road for the gossiper, because when she hears some good juicy gossip over here, she can’t wait to run to the other side of the road and tell somebody over there what she just heard! Ha!” the Right Reverend continued; his booming voice firing cannonballs that hit their targets without err. He was on a roll!
Friends, I have to, once again, ask for your forgiveness and patience as time and space have run out today; but if you check us out next week, you can hear the conclusion of the Right Reverend A. Jordan Smith’s sermon, “The Wide Road.”
Next Friday: Conclusion of “The Sermon”