Feel the call to testify

In 1958, while growing up in Dallas at the age of 15, I felt the “call” while attending services at our Baptist Church one Wednesday evening. As I have written before, I couldn’t help myself, didn’t even think about it, just rose up from the pew and joined several others heading down the aisle toward the preacher’s pulpit to get baptized and saved. Overcome with emotion at a young age, right?Well, regardless of what precipitated it, I somehow interested my cousin in my newly fueled faith. He and I began attending a Primitive Baptist Church.

We joined a congregation of approximately 100 people who believed in strict adherence to the teaching of the bible; no leeway. Sundays mornings, Wednesday and Friday nights were all spent at the Church. In my previous blog, I mentioned the shame with which people, some very young, stood up—feeling the same need I did when I walked toward the preacher’s pulpit—and “testified” about sinful behavior in their life or that of their parent’s, relatives or friends.

Some astonishing statements were made during testifying. The congregation prayed aloud for guidance for the person testifying while they hung their head in shame, often in tears. My cousin and I attended for most of a year before our interest was captivated by something new. Looking back on it, I have to say that the type of religion practiced by the congregation worked for them. The person testifying appreciated the positive support of the congregates, felt better getting the burden off their chests and enjoyed some emotional relief.

Whether we call it karma or positive interaction with the universe, no matter how much we scoff at religion, we all have a prayer on our lips when bad things suddenly confront us.