You Know Where You Laid Him

You Know Where You Laid Him

I went to the Country Club of Tuscaloosa this past Saturday morning to try to play some golf… It was a beautiful day in the end of May, just right for playing golf… The Country Club of Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa’s oldest country club, is being sold to an investment group for redevelopment as of the end of May. The club has been struggling financially for many years. I have been there many years, having joined shortly before Southern Grass Tennis Academy, where I used to play tennis, closed. I have played a lot of tennis there, having won the open division of the Club Championship, and making many friends there. About 20 years ago, after playing tennis for 20 years, I decided I would take up golf… Golf, like tennis, requires strength in one’s legs. I suffered a torn Patella tendon several months ago, and my legs are still weak. Later in the day I discovered I could not play that day so I went back to work. However, I want to share with you a happening related to this visit to the Tuscaloosa Country Club.

Now don’t take what I say that seriously. Few do that anyway:):)  I am setting on our deck which Wink cleaned today, having a beer, and thinking about some things….

When I drove up today to the Country Club, I was getting my clubs out of the Avalanche truck, and I was greeted by the older black lady know in many parts of town as the “Preacher Lady.” Preacher Lady walks from Alberta City, where I live, to West End, where our business is, and the Country Club of Tuscaloosa is, 12 miles away, preaching in a loud voice as she walks along in a long dress that goes down to her ankles. She preaches in nonsensical phrases as she walks for miles and miles… She must have very strong legs…. She may be homeless… On this day, Preacher Lady came up to me quietly, with an open Bible Cradled in her arms, speaking in a soft voice, with kind eyes, asking me, “Where did you lay him.” I told her, “He is risen.” “I did not lay him anywhere.” She insisted that I did lay him and that I knew where he was, and that she was looking for him and to please tell her where I laid him. I told her again, as we communicated as if we were normal people, that I did not do it… She said that I did do it, and I knew where I laid him and to please tell her. This conversation went on for some time…

Now, those who know me generally think that I am just about as crazy as this crazy Preacher Lady… I used to be an actual preacher once…. I am thinking now, why did I not walk with her to a restaurant and eat together with her, and get to know her better? I think a lot of people are afraid of Preacher Lady, but I am not afraid… Instead, I went ahead and tried to play golf. After attempting to play a few holes, I discovered my legs were too weak and sore from hitting some balls the day before and working in the shop this past week on some prototype coffins, that I could not play and was just reinforcing bad habits… So, I quit. You might say I was on my last legs that day, which in several ways, I appear to be…

Not Preacher Lady though, she is not on her last legs… She can walk, and she can talk, anywhere….

Well, where then, did I lay him? She said I laid him there…

Setting on the deck, in Alberta City, the City with perhaps the largest moon you have ever seen, and a hotel named Moon Winx, with crickets chirping, and an occasional train going by, as I think of the new Pope Francis and his concern for the poor, and for Peace, (one of his sayings I recently shared) it is coming to me where I laid him… I have laid him… I have laid him there… I have laid him somewhere after my concerns for success, somewhere after materialism, somewhere after pride, etc. This Jesus, concerned for the poor, for the rat upon, sat upon, spat upon, as Dallas Willard speaks of in his book, “The Divine Conspiracy,” knows I have laid him there. He knows that often other things are of a higher priority to me than him.

The somewhat nonsensical sentences of Preacher Lady make more sense upon reflection… “Where did you lay him?” “You know where you laid him.” “You laid him there.” “You know where.” “You did it, yes you did.” These phrases make more sense as we review the history of the Christian religious systems post Constantine… Oh, and my own personal history too…

I did it… I laid him there. I crucified him there now upon my own altars… I should know where I laid him… We, who say we are Christians, should know where we laid him,
Did you lay Him there too?

Grace and Peace,

John Cooper

Postscript: Before I post this, I was driving to work after church this afternoon and coming over the 15th street viaduct with Stafford Park on the right, there was Preacher Lady half way down the block. I pulled over into the park and waited as she walked slowly toward me. I got out of the park and walked toward her with body language I knew would not scare her. My Uncle, Bill McCulley was so good at this with animals he raised. I learned some of it from him many years ago.. He would often offer his hand out forward, and other things like that so as not to frighten the animals he cared for, who were likely to run away from, or to attack others. I reminded her of our conversation just yesterday and asked her if she had found where he was laid yet. She had not yet, but began another conversation. I listened to her and interjected that I would like to take her to lunch, but she said she did not need to eat. As we talked for perhaps 15 minutes or so, mainly it was her talking, I interjected my offer at least twice more to take her to lunch or drive her where she might need to go, but she declined each time.
What was on her mind today, is that Jesus is coming and he is coming soon…. In the midst of her extended preaching she pulled out her Bible and began looking in in the Book of Revelation around chapter 20 for the passage she was looking for…. I asked her if she meant to find Revelation 19, where Jesus was coming back in robes soaked in blood, his own blood, I said, but she said she knew about that, and fingered forward to Revelation 22 and read some of the Scriptures there, without eyeglasses, in a clear and pleasant and knowledgeable voice, “Behold, I am coming soon!” among other Scriptures.
She preached about many things…. I told her my name, and asked for hers, but she did not want to give it to me, therefore, for now, let’s just say, “Preacher Lady” asked me to tell you about all of this…..

About jcooperforpeace
Spiritual Director, Spirituality of Inner Peace

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