So, Hillary Clinton aspires to be a preacher.
The Rev. Bill Shillady, her close friend, pastor and spiritual adviser during her political campaigns, thinks she’s got the makings of a good minister.
“I think she would be a terrific preacher,” he told The News & Observer’s Martha Quillin. “She knows her Bible, and she loves people and she loves God.”
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But in the rural area where I grew up, another ingredient was required. One has to have been “called,” that is, having experienced an epiphany moment and a direct summons from God.
During my mostly long and happy life, I’ve heard some preachers who, in my opinion, were never really recruited by the Almighty.
You may have heard the story about the man who looked up during a thunderstorm one day and saw the letters “G” and “P” written in fire across the sky.
He interpreted the letters to be instruction from God to “Go Preach,” so he left the farm and founded a church.
The congregation, having heard about the preacher’s “calling” experience many times, eventually concluded that the message in the heavens surely meant “Go Plow,” not “Go Preach.”
Clinton’s transition from politics to preaching could be interesting. One wonders if the congregation will be bipartisan or solidly Democratic. There’s always the possibility that her congregation could be infiltrated by ardent Republicans who one morning on cue, may start chanting, “Lock her up! Lock her up!”
Clinton’s life has consisted of a kaleidoscope of experiences with a variety of highs and lows that certainly equip her to deliver varied and interesting sermons.
I’m sure she can find adequate Scripture with which to support her spiritual messages.
Reader Ralph Willis of Beaufort has informed me that the account of the little girl reportedly buried standing up in Beaufort’s historic cemetery is unconfirmed.
During a long-ago tour of the cemetery, our tour guide told us that the child, who died at sea while returning home with her father from a visit to their native England, was preserved in a barrel of rum and buried standing up.
Willis was kind enough to send along a brochure about the cemetery’s significant grave sites. The brochure specifies that the child was buried in a barrel of rum, but it does not say the barrel was buried upright.
The brochure does point out that in the 1700s, a British naval officer who died on board a ship in port at Beaufort was buried standing upright in full uniform with his boots on in compliance with his earlier instructions.
Food for thought
Reader Andy Book sent along the following chuckle that lawn lovers can appreciate: “I don’t care what your name is. Don’t drag that lumber across my lawn!”
Long hot summer
So far this summer has been a sizzler. I can’t remember when I last saw birds with open beaks gasping for breath in the August heat or when the humidity was so high and the prevailing political humility so low.
Have you noticed that in newspapers and on TV, certain words come and go according to whatever current events are dominating the media output?
A few seasons ago, when North Carolina was visited by a number of hurricanes, the media seemed fascinated with the term “hunker down.”
On-the-scene reporters described how they or residents of the affected areas were “hunkered down,” awaiting the hurricane.
Governors, mayors and emergency personnel were frequently advising residents to “hunker down” until the storms passed.
This year’s word? Ratchet.
The tension between the U.S. and North Korea “has ratcheted up.” The confrontation between Congress and the president “has ratcheted up another notch.” And so it goes.
Perhaps what makes American English so colorful and expressive is the public’s willingness to experiment with new words and expressions.