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The Travelling Preacher

It is 1972. The big, white tent sits on a large field in a remote settlement of slightly over 200 people, big and small. In the tent, the podium stands alone at the back, in the centre of the aisle. Rows of benches are set on each side facing it. The people flutter in. I walk behind the crowd and take a seat near the back. I could hardly see the front with the tall, dark-haired man in front of me.

I choose to go alone to pray: looking to find God, to let him know how things are going, to ask him to always be with me. I stay until I have my blessing from the travelling preacher. He extends his hand over my head. When others start falling and speaking in tongues, I leave. I fear for I don’t understand. My thought is they are having seizures. My heart pounds. My legs are quivering. I hurry out, leaving the travelling preacher and the big, white tent. The last words I hear are “God is here.”

A fragment of a memory so long ago. When I was young.

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