I ran into Jim Reacher in front of the Sinks Grove Post Office the other day. He was waiting for it to open and when I asked him if he was doing all right, he grumbled something about the new hours, how he never could get it right. But Old Jim had a look about him and I could sense that there was something more bothering him. It didn’t take long for him to open up.
It seems that Jim was accused by his fellow church goers over at the Baptist Church of raising his hands over his head right in the middle of a very serious sermon last Sunday.
“I just felt like I needed to do something,” he said, “and I thought how satisfied some of them fellers on TV look when they’re praisin’ the Lord. So I was looking for my opportunity. There wasn’t nuthin’ to praise about during the announcements and the first hymn was a sweet song I like, so I kinda just sang like I always do. Then for the second hymn everyone was standing and it seemed awkward.”
This was getting to be a good story. I asked Jim if he wanted to join me on the bench across the street. But he declined saying something about how long that old bench had been there and not sure whether it would hold the two of us.
“Well then they had the special music, and I was just worried that it would seem disrespectful if I raised my hands during that, especially when Sister Betty was singin’.
“And then the pastor started his talk and y’know, sometimes he just makes too many points and I get lost, so I thought that would be a good time.”
Jim told me how he had raised both hands as high above his head as his arthritis would let him. But everyone around him scowled and Mrs. Joyblossom moved down the pew. And the preacher was looking straight at him, so he just put his hands back in his lap and raised his eyebrows in mock attentiveness.
After service when he was confronted by the head of the Ladies Committee on Decent Activity, Jim lost his nerve and told her there was a fly in his hair and he was trying to swat it away.
“Well, you can worship God anywhere,” I suggested.
One side of Jim’s mouth turned up in a weak smile and one old calloused hand started to lift slowly from his side.
“Go for it,” I said. “Get ‘er done.”
Then the other hand came up and Jim did a little jig and turned around and yelled “hallelujah” in his raspy voice. His joy was very compelling, so I joined him and we had a good time worshipping together until the postmaster showed up, grinning at us, and opening the post office door.
– For all of nature, your favorite farm reporter, Larry Berger, Sinks Grove Correspondent, LBSPY November 2015.
HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.