The Right Fist Of Fellowship
I have been in church for all of my life. Except for a brief time when I was young, I don’t really recall a time that I wasn’t spending most Sundays in the church house.
One of the things that occurred weekly was the fellowship time. In conjunction, the preacher would often say to give someone the “right hand of fellowship.”
One thing I never heard said was to give someone the right fist of fellowship. At least not until the summer before my senior year of high school.
I’ve been in a few fights in my life. In fact, I was right up on the line of being in one just a few weeks ago. It had to do with someone cursing my son, I’m not sure I reacted well, but I did act like a lot of dads.
Some fights turned out okay. Others didn’t. One of the problems, though, was that I didn’t really care where I got in a fight. I challenged the school bus driver to come off the bus and fight one time. He was probably smarter than I was at the time and never left his seat.
One of the worst was when I about got in a fight with a deacon.
One summer our part of the country was going through a drought. The committee in charge of the grounds decided that the plants around the church needed to be watered. I was hired for the job and began my tasks in earnest.
It was a boring job and hot, so I hatched a plan to do my job and stay in the cool. My grandparent lived across the road from the church, so I hooked a sprinkler to the hose and set it to water the plants. I walked over to my grandparents and hid where it was cool. Occasionally I would go move the sprinkler and head back across the road.
One time when I went to move the sprinkler the water had been turned off. I looked at it with a bit of bewilderment. I scratched my head and turned the water back on. The next time I went to move the sprinkler it was off again. I turned it back on. This happened again, so this time I decided to stick with it and see what happened. That’s when things got bad.
The aforementioned deacon drove up and asked me what I was doing. I explained to him that I had been hired to water the plants. He told me to stop wasting the church’s money and water. I told him, “No thanks. I’ll keep doing what the church hired me to do.” He told me again to stop. I told him emphatically again that I was going to continue. This is where it got real bad.
The deacon told me that I needed a whipping since I wouldn’t listen to him. He knew me, of course, but he didn’t really know me. I wasn’t going to let him whip me.
He started to open the door to his truck and I started making my move. I wasn’t going to let him have the first shot at me. I was going to get him before he could get out of the truck. Just as I was about to throw the first punch, I heard my name. There stood my grandpa who had witnessed the whole thing. He advised the deacon to stay in his truck and told me to get over to the house.
I watched as he and deacon talked for a while, sometimes a bit heatedly. Finally, the deacon drove off.
I dreaded what was about to happen as my grandpa walked back over. He came into the house and looked at me for what seemed like an eternity. Then he said it. He asked me a question with a bit of a grin on his face.
“What were you going to do, give him the right fist of fellowship?”