Let me tell you all a story about one hot, Sunday night many moons ago. Revival was just beginning and Memma decided to go to the first night of revival. She put my Sunday go to meeting dress on (the same dress that I had worn to church that day) and we walked across the railroad tracks to the Larkinsville Methodist Church. We walked into the church and sat down and immediately picked up one of the hand fans and started fanning ourselves. I looked up at the podium or pulpit or whatever you call that thing where the preacher stands to give the sermon and saw a big pitcher of ice water. "Can I have a drink of water?" I asked.
Memma shook her head and said, "No, that water is for sprinkling."
I had no clue what she was talking about. The visiting preacher was introduced and I am hear to tell you. He cut loose to preacher like a wild man. Beads of sweat gathered across his forehead. His bald head glistened with sweat. I thought he would douse himself with the ice water, but he eyed the pitcher a couple of times but kept right on panting and huffing. He talked about the devil and screamed and shook his fist in the air. I was getting sleepy and was already laying over on Memma. Finally, the preacher led the congregation in "Just as I am" and if they sang the last stanza one time, they sang it a dozen times. Everyone was fanning and turning to look into the back of the church. Sure enough, sitting back there a few rows behind us, a man sat back there grasping the bench in front of him until his knuckles turned white. He clutched the bench so tightly. The preacher kept singing and then he started on the line of that song. As a child, I had very little clue as to what was going on, but thinking back about it now, I think I have it figured out. There was no way in heck that man was going up to the alter to be saved and ultimately sprinkled (although that water would have felt pretty good, I am sure) and there was no way the preacher was going to give up on him.
Suddenly, that preacher shouted, ran around the pew and leaped over the first bench and the those long legs flew across the rest of them until out the door he went. People were shouting and waving their hands in the air and most of all, getting out of his way. He ran around the church, yelling and shouting. He sure woke me up and I thought the devil was after mefor sure. I think I peed my pants and poor Memma had to carry me home. She lifted me up in her arms and we left. The man that was sitting in the back beat us out of there. And, the pitcher of water sat there, unused. Now that was an old fashioned revival meeting.