Mary ran a puppet show and we "kids" would be recruited to help out. We laughed, and laughed and laughed. When we did David and Goliath, Tybeth King was "working" Goliath. When David let lose that stone, she had ol' Goliath fall like a lead brick. But, Tybeth had this wicked sense of humour - so, once he fell down dead, she pulled on the string working on of his legs and he did the famous "kick of death." Mary and Dovie laughed until they cried. Then they asked her to leave it it the presentation. The congregation howled in laughter.
Once, during the church service the bible story was about "two in the field, one is taken and one is left." There was this old man puppet who was just a horrible person and he was so mean to the little boy puppet who was meek, and good, and kind. Well, when it came time for one of them to be taken, Dovie yanked the old man up into the air and out of sight. She screamed in a whisper, "Oh, Mary, I took the wrong one!" She later told us that for a split second she contemplated sending the old mean man back and snatching away the wee lad. I wish she had! The vision of heaven spitting that old man out is just too funny. When the presentation was over, Mary, ever unflappable, walked out in front oft he puppet theatre and said, "You see, brothers and sisters, you looked at the outward appearance, but God sees the heart." I've never forgotten that lesson. That night was the beginning of my egalitarian outlook.
- Dovie was the last person of influence from my childhood. Her death closes a chapter in my life.
- Dovie was one of my best friends
- Another connection to my parents is broken
- The final connection to the religion and congregation of my early childhood is no more.
John Bunyan wrote in Pilgrim's Progress"
I have formerly lived by hearsay and faith but now I go where I shall live by sight, and shall be with him in whose company I delight myself. I have loved to hear my Lord spoken of; and wherever I have seen the print of this shoe in the earth, there I have coveted to set my foot to. His name to me has been as a civet-box; yea, sweeter than all perfume. His voice to me has been most sweet; and his countenance I have more desired than they that have most desired the light of the sun. His word I did use to gather for my food, and for antidotes against my faintings. 'He has held me, and hath kept me from mine iniquities; yea, my steps hath he strengthened in his way.'That perfectly describes Dovie's life of faith.
I love you, Dovie. Thank you for loving me, for praying for me, and for being my friend. And thank you, God, for giving me Dovie to know on this, my earthly pilgrimage.
I've posted a few songs from my childhood in that pentecostal church. The songs are out of favour now, but I love this type of "old school Gospel" music, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I guess these songs are a tribute to, and a burial of that childhood faith experience. The first song is If I could hear my mother pray again. I'm posting it as a tribute to all those Mothers in Zion I knew as a child - especially Dovie Harms. And I really would love to hear them pray, again.
By the way, Dovie was also my mother's name.