The Story Behind the Story: The Reverend Elvie Simms

9 Nov

 

The Story behind the Story: The Reverend Elvie Simms

I was raised in church, and I have watched as people looked down their noses at others for doing things I know they had to be guilty of themselves. I don’t hate church. It is without a doubt the biggest single industry in our capitalized society. Yes, it is nothing more than big business.

I hate the hypocrisy of church. After attending church recently with relatives, I became disgusted after listening to a man I had long respected teach all Sunday morning that our president was the anti-christ. I couldn’t find another church that didn’t bash gays or preach that we were all doomed to hell if we allowed gay marriage. Christ was never a politician. He never joined a political party.  He taught the word.

But every church is full of people who are full of themselves—without exception. And some of the biggest egos belong to the pillars of the church—those who call themselves the deacons and the elders. But we all have skeletons in our closets.

So I had an idea for a story shortly after listening to an uneducated man trying to teach me how the Bible explained that Obama was the anti-Christ. How could I write a story that dealt with a pillar of the church with a secret the/she  needed to hide?

I have always been fascinated with the need of the families of the dying to call in a preacher to pray with them.  I guess there is always that need for a last confession or conversion. I was considering this one day when the idea for this story began to develop. Why not have a matriarch of a local church—a woman whose family had helped to build the church from the day it had first opened its doors—dying of cancer and summoning the preacher to her bedside. She needs to confess a sin she has kept from her husband.

 Now, what could be the worst sin she could have committed? She was a lesbian? She cheated on her husband and lied? I liked that one. But who could she have cheated with? Why not the preacher himself. Yes! Let the preacher come to her side, and let her tell the preacher she had to confess to her husband she had slept with the preacher. Her husband has asked her if she has always been faithful, but she lied, and now she knows she will burn in hell if she doesn’t confess to him. The preacher is afraid for his life, so he smothers her with a pillow, sending her soul to hell.

But this was too clichéd.  Half the preachers in America have banged the church secretary or one of the members of their church. I needed to fix this so it wasn’t just a normal cliché. Then I managed to attend a Sunday church service where another preacher started gay-bashing. Now remember, I am not gay, but I believe in the equality clause of our constitution—something in there about equal protection of the laws.

I sat there thinking “I bet you had a gay affair sometime and that is why you are this way.” Then it hit me. I heard the Lord Gawda speak to me in a loud and audible voice saying to me—“Now you have your story. Instead of a matriarch of the church having an affair with the preacher, let it be a head deacon.”

And I was frightened, and I said, “Yes, Lord. But where can this affair occur?”

And Gawda spoke to me again and said “In the baptistery. Where else!”

I had my story.

I assumed a preacher would have to sterilize the baptism tank after every baptism service. I could have him at church late that night when the head deacon comes in the door. I had to figure a good reason for the deacon to be there that late, and how to get him in the tank. Once again, Gawda  spoke to me and said, “Silly! He would offer to help the preacher so the preacher could go home early.”

Me being the doubting Thomas that I am, said, “Yes, Lord, but why did he come back?”

“You forget the vanity of my people,” Gawda said. “He would come back to get his watch that he took off while assisting his preacher with the baptisms.”

So, much of this story is due to divine guidance!

I had the story. After baptizing souls all Sunday, the church members went home. The preacher returned to sterilize and clean the tank. He is in his briefs, not expecting anyone to enter the church. His head deacon comes in, as head deacons will always have a key to the church-house doors. He forgot his father’s watch—a watch he took off and left beside the baptistery while assisting the preacher. And of course, he would insist on helping the preacher so they could both get home early. Now I have them in the tank in their boxers, and things literally get out of hand.

            So afterward, they go on for 25 years without ever acknowledging what happened, until the deacon is dying of cancer. He summons the preacher to tell him he must confess their sin to his wife. The preacher tells him to lie. The deacon says he can’t because he will burn in hell.

            I won’t tell the rest of the story

            However, this story came abut because of the never ending gay bashing that goes on relentlessly in Protestant churches across the country. Freedom of religion means just that. It also means freedom FROM religion! If I choose to get up Sunday morning and have two beers for breakfast as my Sunday communion, that is between my lord and me. Far too many people use religion as an excuse for their obnoxious, intrusive, rude behavior. I was raised in a family that believed Religion gave them license to say anything they wanted so long as the lord told them to do so. I was raised in churches that feel the same way.

 Religion does not excuse moronic behavior  no more than alcohol.

These stories are my ministry, ordained by the will of Gawda and sanctified with my own sweat and tears.

Sadly, the ones who need to hear these messages the most, the ones who continue to believe church is their business and not their calling, the ones who believe we should do as they say and not as they live, the ones always finding time to condemn but never having time to look in the mirror at the real sinner, will read these stories and condemn me.

            But they have been doing that for years anyways. Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof!

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