"God Works in Mysterious
Ways," #119 Swapping Stories
Harry Methvin, Hargrove Settlement,
Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana
Recorded June 30, 1990 by C. Renée Harvison.
Sister Lily was a big woman.
She was Luther's wife, and they lived right across from the Baptist
church. And on one Sunday morning the preacher, Jack Bell, Reverend Jack
Bell, who also worked in a lumber yard during the week in Westlake, and he
was the pastor here, too. He was in the pulpit preaching after Sunday
We were into the preaching hour, and as I recall, his
subject that day was the rapture of the church. We, of course, were
enraptured. Everybody was attentive and still, and all was quiet. And I
remember the preacher saying, "And in a moment, in the twinkling of an
eye, at the sound of the last trump," and when he said, "the last trump,"
we heard, "Heeeyyyy, ohhhhhh."
And he stopped in the pulpit,
motionless. Everybody in their pews just kind of froze. And we heard this
giant collision outside on the double doors in front of the church. And
there was renewed silence. Then the two doors of the vestibule swung open.
And as they were pulled open, it created a vacuum in the church. And there
was a great rushing wind that swept over the congregation that had to be
like the day of Pentecost, you know, a great rushing wind, and there stood
Sister Lily in all of her glory. Sister Lily was standing in the doors of
Everybody was enraptured, and everybody turned in
their pews, and Sister Lily hollered, "Brother Jack, Brother Jack, Aunt
Rosie's house is on fire!"
You see, we didn't have a fire
department, and she figured the best authority on fire would be the
Baptist preacher. I mean he preaches about it every other Sunday, hellfire
and brimstone. So she went to Brother Jack and interrupted his message.
And Brother Jack, being calm, cool, and collected as he was, said,
"Would some of you men please go and help remove the furnishings from the
And we did. But the funny thing about that was that when
she hit those double doors and yelled, everybody thought it was the
rapture! On that Sunday morning we had fourteen rededications and seven
conversions! Yeah! All because of Sister Lily. And I'm always amazed how
God works in mysterious ways. Just because of Sister Lily.
salvage some things from Aunt Rose's house, so it was a good Sunday. There
were a lot of things saved because of Aunt Rose's house that day. People
were saved. The refrigerator was saved. I mean, we saved it all. Brother
Jack had some divine intervention, and his subject was most fitting.
Sister had to be an instrument of God. It made people think seriously
about the rapture. That's true. That's real.
For more information about
this and related tales, refer to the book Swapping Stories: Folktales
from Louisiana, published by University Press of