Wednesday, August 03, 2005

One Of The Selected

In the land of the big box stores, his apparel definitely did not look like the clothes on the racks. His beard suggested a style not of or from California, rather maybe some other part of the country. An aura of jauntiness was exhibited by the fedora emblazoned with the parrot feather and a few other trinkets.

But in the end it was not the attire that caught me but his eyes. As we searched side by side for the right DVD, he did not hesitate in evaluating whether I was approachable.

"Hi, they call me Crazy Jimmy," and eyes as clear and pure as an infant's looked at me. I'm game and it definitely it beats TV.

After some chit-chat, he wonders politely if I know Jesus. His practiced delivery, emboldened by the attentiveness, spun parable and fable with a Missouri backwoods twist, including the one about a lot of people thinking they will convert at the 11th hour not knowing he comes for you at 10:30.

He whips out his wallet and shows me a picture of someone who looks vaguely familiar.

"I've been carrying this for 40 years. It's my idea of what Jesus looked like. I showed it to my 90 year old grand pappy and said 'Do you know who this is?' and grand pappy replied 'Waylon Jennings?'"

We share laughter; and then maybe I shouldn't have, but I have to ask, "Well if Jesus was a Jew and he lived in the Middle East wouldn't he be dark or at least not European looking?" ...a space of silence for the first time, but then I am forgiven my transgression.

It turns out that Jimmy is a preacher and a teacher on Route 66 or any other highway of life. As we part he tells me that if we don't meet on the road again, he'll see me at the Pearly Gates. And that suits me fine. --Margo Viers

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