Years ago, back before they put the curvature in the earth, my parents took me and a friend to a big concert in Charlotte with some big name bands and artists:
The Four Tops, Charlie Daniels, Gallery, Johnny Nash, Billy Preston …
The final act was a very noisy rock band named Black Oak Arkansas.
(Think “banging gong, clanging cymbal” – minus the love part – and, as far as I could tell, they were speaking in tongues.)
They pranced on stage ranting and raving, barefoot and shirtless – hairy men, in spandex pants.
I was shocked. Seeing as how I was with my parents, I was even more shocked. After the opening number, the lead singer – a cat called Jim Dandy – said:
“People call us animals … they say we’re wild, untamed, nasty …”
The crowd – save for me and my parents, of course – was going crazy in hypnotic agreement.
“Well, brothers and sisters, we’re not animals” — and to the roar of guitar and crowd, he proclaimed — “We’re all alike!”
That’s when my dad said, “Come on, I ain’t like him, let’s get out of here.”
There I sat, a few years later, at a Pentecostal worship service with prophecies in tongues … interpretations … medical diagnosis … ranting in the microphone, and Wurlitzer punctuation marks.
Oh, I forgot to tell you about Uncle Ernie.
Uncle Ernie sat – well, stood – up on the front row. He was every bit of 92 years old, and he kept wigglin and movin, a hoppin’ and a jumpin’.
The pastor, still working the crowd into a frenzy like a spirit filled auctioneer, yelled: “Oh, and look at Uncle Ernie! His leg done caught the spirit!”
Sure nuf, all you had to do was look at Uncle Ernie to see that his right leg was just a wigglin, abnormally out of control. Imagine Elvis, skinny at 92, with one frog leg, one human.
The pastor kept up the excitement, saying: “Yes, Lord – ol’ Uncle Ernie’s leg is praising the Lord! Soon he’ll be runnin’ ’round the building!”
Would you believe it? That ol’ man took off and …
The Orthodixie Podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.