Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Incredible Strength of Belief

by Bryan Merck

At the Kingdom Hall, Elder Shorty defines the nature of love:
“Love opens us up to a world of pain?
If I care for someone, it hurts me when they hurt.
It hurts me when they die. We all die.”

Shorty ran moonshine for years.
He was also a serious drunkard.
This was high-level stuff until he found God.
He had sought to inculcate the Playboy philosophy in Gillsville, Georgia,
until he met the Tingle sisters, Dottie and Zooey Lou.

Shorty goes around on Saturdays and witnesses for Jehovah.
People knew him then; people know him now.
He once rode a go-cart all the way to Gainesville to find liquor.
His son, Bubba, liked serial-killer collectible cards.

Shorty and Zooey Lou Tingle married.
The Tingles are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Zooey’s great-grandfather died in Aushwitz
along with a bunch of other Witnesses.
As a group, they refused to kill any fellow human beings.

“There are Witnesses in high places,” continues  Shorty.
“Michael Jackson was a Witness. He had all that plastic surgery
to keep from being recognized.”

Shorty backslid into a brief stint with snake-handling Pentecostalism.
Zooey would have none of it, however.
Shorty was rebaptized in the name of Jesus.
Luther, an old friend, got bit by a canebreak rattler.
He refused help and died.

At their first meeting, Zooey Lou Tingle changed the life of the miscreant Shorty.
He had just done three years for stealing a nice bass boat.
He spent most of that in solitary for general meanness.

He saw Zooey Lou downtown one morning.
His heart broke. He asked her if he could see her.
She said “Yes, if you are a gentleman.”
And so from that day on he became one.

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