Posted tagged ‘Winchester Kentucky’

The Large Changed To Small

July 24, 2018

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                           July 24, 2018

                       

It’s happened numerous times it seems! I’ve revisited towns and places of my childhood and someone has found a way to shrink therm in size in the 55 years or so since I last was there.

I noticed it first back in Williamstown, West Virginia. The streets had been narrowed since I was a kid in fifth grade living there. I remember the main street that ran through town being like a four lane highway. It ran between the community park and the grocery. I’d find a couple of pop bottles to turn into the store. The store would give me three cents a bottle, which I would use to buy a PayDay or similar sugared-up product. I’d sprint across that street, heart racing, since I knew it was against my parent’s rules. 

In my revisit, however, the highway (in my mind) had been narrowed to where now it is barely wide enough for two compact cars to pass one another going in opposite directions.

And then my brother and I visited Central Baptist Church in Winchester, Kentucky- the church my family attended from the time I was an infant to the age of eight. We were in that sanctuary three times a week- Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday evening- but someone had shrunk it. A new sanctuary has been built that must seat a thousand or so. We navigated our way through the building that has been added onto a few times until we found the old sanctuary. It’s been repurposed and abused into a youth gathering room. (There’s something weird about that, by the way! Maybe because what once was has long since been changed into what now is!) I remember the old sanctuary being huge, but when we entered it what was once a large gathering place of God’s place on Sunday morning now seems more like a worship closet. 

After church we journeyed around town and stopped at the first two houses I remember living in. Back in the day they were mansions, huge homes where a good game of hide and seek could be played involving small people. BUT once again someone had zapped each one of them with a reducer gun and turned them into Polly Pockets residences!

The perspective of our youth often gets a vision test in our adult years. Our view has been changed. The far-sighted imagination of our childhood gets replaced by the near-sighted skepticism of our aged eyes. What was larger than life becomes the small reality.

There’s a sadness in this change. Perhaps it’s the discovery that what was our “world” as kids, and the specialness of those times, now looks insignificant in the present. When we take our kids and grandkids back to those sacred places there’s yawns and indifference. The mansion we remember now simply looks like a small two bedroom house on a street populated with other small two bedroom homes. 

In another generation they will experience the same thing with their kids!

However, whatever the reality now is the imprint of those times will remain massive upon us. Who I am today is a direct result of how large those days will always be!

Impersonating Familiar Voices

August 2, 2017

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                       August 2, 2017

                               

When I was a young boy growing up in the Bluegrass State our family had a Sunday night routine of going to the Sunday evening service at Central Baptist Church in Winchester, coming home and having mom or dad pop some popcorn, and then sitting in front of the Philco and watching The Ed Sullivan Show. I was always hoping for certain guests on the program like Jackie Vernon or Topo Gigio. Sometime during the evening I’d do my Ed Sullivan impersonation and say “Tonight we’ve got a really big “shhooowww”!”, and I would say “show” like the host was known for pronouncing the word. My Ed Sullivan impersonation was my best act during those days. Once in a while I’d pretend to be Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy, or John Wayne, complete with his familiar strut, but Mr. Sullivan was my go-to.

In later years I impersonated my aunts and uncles, grandparents, and even my mom, but Ed Sullivan was the trailblazer for me. My parents would express their amazement, real or pretend, at how close to the real thing I sounded. I practiced saying “Topo Gigio” frequently, perfecting my modulation and inflection.

BUT I could never quite be Ed Sullivan! Of course, in the later years when he was still doing his show he looked like death warmed over, but it wasn’t his appearance that I was after. It was his voice. I thought it was cool to sound like him.

We seem to do that with the voice of God, also! There’s a tendency to want to make something sound like it’s of God and from God. People are often impressed by prophetic voices with the right rhythm to them. They get carried away by the utterances rather than the truth!

Unlike Ed Sullivan, it seems much easier for people to be fooled by the impersonation of the Holy than some other celebrity. Perhaps it’s because we’ve become so distant from Him that we are easily suckered into a scheme that goes amiss!

Or maybe it’s because we’re so starved for a word from the Lord that we’ll believe anything! And so churches are led down a promising pathway…and hope-depraved people are given a word of potential, egotistic pastors continually hear God’s leadings that no one else can hear, and shallow believers are helpless to discern what is of God and what isn’t!

The impersonation of the things of God and the action verbs of God leave us with a church that becomes cynical towards God.

“Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me!” We’ve been fooled by the impersonations of God too many times, and a number of people have decided they will never be fooled again…even by the real voice!