It Happened at the Liquor Store
Good things can happen anywhere. The longer I live, the more true this becomes. Good things can even happen at the liquor store. I haven’t always seen it that way. As a kid, my grandpa made me wait in the car, while he ran inside for a bottle of what he called cough syrup. Nothing good ever came from that.
All that changed, when he followed my grandma to church and then followed the Holy Spirit to the altar. It was the only time I have ever seen him cry. After that, no more cough syrup, cigarettes, or cuss words, not even when I hooked his ear while we were fishing.
It’s been ten years. He vowed before the whole congregation that Sunday morning, his shadow would never darken the door of another liquor store. He meant it too. That was until about two weeks ago, when a storm blew into our little town. That was when thunder and lightning chased my grandpa and his church friends off the golf course and straight to the liquor store.
They had been having been their Wednesday afternoon song and praise services at the golf course, since they got run out of the hardware store. The man who owns the hardware store said it was okay for them to shop as long as they didn’t do any praying or singing, not even in the lumber section, where nobody goes. It kinda hurt my grandpa’s feeling. It had been his idea to hold service between the two by fours and plywood, him being a carpenter.
Since our leaders have made churches everywhere off limits, Sister LaBertha suggested, the golf course might be a good place to meet. “After all, it’s plenty holey,” she said, has green pastures, and lots of sprinklers if the need should arise. They laughed at first, but then with nowhere else to go, they began to congregate on the back nine of the local course. It’s was where they prayed up a storm. My grandpa said, they had just started their meeting and what had been a balmy breeze became a terrific storm, roaring thunder, and sharp lightning.
Shut down again, the members of the little group scrambled to their cars and then to the liquor store.
“It just worked out that way,” my grandpa said, when he explained why I saw his truck parked out front of the building he vowed, to never visit again. It was their last option, he said as they searched for a place to sing and pray where they wouldn’t make waves.
“Shorty Jones sure was surprised to see us come marching in,” my grandpa said, and so was the manager of the hardware. “He happened to be picking up some cough medicine,” my grandpa smiled. I understood.
I love my grandpa.
He said he’s glad the Lord took away his cough all those years ago. So am I.
I love my grandpa.
Well, as it worked out, Shorty and the manager of the hardware both joined in the service and if I finish out the story, I will start crying like my grandpa did when he told me what happened next.
After my grandpa wiped his eyes, he said he was glad it worked out that they met at the liquor store. He said the Lord will understand. Then he started crying again, and said he doesn’t miss going to that liquor store at all, not like he misses going church.
This is a work of fiction, maybe.
Edward Reed 2020