The Darkest Night

–Chapter Three

Reverend Joshua was keeping a close eye on the rumbling clouds gathering in the afternoon sky.  The deacons were putting up the tent for the revival and it was going up fast.  They had done this many times and each person knew their task.  They all kept an eye on the approaching storm.  They knew the tent was sturdy and had ridden out many storms.  Even a storm would not stop the revival, not even the darkest night.

Daddy and the Reverend were putting the finishing touches on the altar, tabernacle, and pulpit area.  They had finished a large stage for the gospel group called the Soul Stirrers.  They were rehearsing early having just added a singer they introduced as Sam Cooke.  I was deep into his singing when Daddy said that people were starting to arrive.  They were parking just past the creek bridge and already the cars were lined up several miles down the road.  It looked like a sea of moving people as far as you could see.

Everyone was carrying covered dishes for the food tent, a smorgasbord of southern delight.  The people were dressed in their Sunday best.  The sound of the band was welcoming, and the tent was filling fast.  Families were rushing to get inside as the wind was whipping the canvas and rain was pounding on the tent.  Many were saying that this was the darkest night they had ever seen.  The sky was like ink, no stars, no moon, with only the sound of thunder and lightning illuminating the darkness.

Reverend Joshua stepped behind the altar, quietly looking down at the scriptures then at the people, “Listen to the thunder,” he said.  He closed the Bible and started preaching about John The Baptist, the storm bringer, the forerunner, and he preached with a fury calling all to the altar.  The preacher raged on, the storm raged on, and the congregation stood and sang to the heavens.  The Reverend lifted his hands high beckoning them to come to him and one by one they came.  The storm became silent, and Sam Cooke stood up, arms lifted high, and sang Jesus Gave Me Water.

That was a night that I would never forget.  I saw and felt things that I could not explain at five years old.  I was wondering how the adventures of this night could ever be surpassed; yet somehow, I knew tomorrow would be beyond anything I could imagine.

Links to Chapters One and Two:


Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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