“Son, do you know what Good Friday’s all about?” asked my grandaddy, stabbing the pork on the grill.“Cowboys?” I answered, holstering my cap gun after a full day of sheriffing the county.
“No,” said Grandaddy. “It’s when we celebrate the death of Jesus. Have a seat, this is something you oughta know about.”
So, I took a load off the old spurs.
“Now, you remember Jesus, from Sunday school? And his posse?”
“You know, all his buddies, his mama, and everybody.”
I shook my head. Truth be told, I didn’t know Jesus had a mama. More importantly, I wondered if Jesus carried a Smith and Wesson six-shooter.
“One night,” said Grandaddy. “Jesus and his buddies all got together for supper. They had real famous time, eating fried chicken, biscuits, creamed corn—”
“Oh, you betcha. God Almighty is right fond of biscuits.”
That made four of us.
“Does he put strawberry jam on his biscuits?”
“Lord no, child. This is God we’re talking about. He uses sorghum. Now let me finish. So, Jesus tells everyone, ‘One of y’all’s fixing to betray me.’”
He rubbed his head. “Well, it ain’t good.”
“You mean like peeing on the toilet seat?”
“It’s more like peeing in the punchbowl.”
“Never you mind. Like I’s saying: after supper, Jesus and the fellas went outside for a little walk. And while they’s visiting, there come a bunch folks aiming to do some killing.”
“Like turkey hunting?”
“No, I mean a public hanging.”
“But, why’d anyone want to hang Jesus?”
“Well, they didn’t have a good reason. But I suppose they just didn’t care for him.”
“They didn’t?” Heavens to Prattville. If folks didn’t like a biscuit-loving, six-shooter-wearing Bible character, there was no hope for a boy like me.
He went on, “Jesus wasn’t like regular men. He was good people. He liked to go fishing with his buddies, and throw big potlucks, sometimes inviting five thousand folks. Everybody loved him, and he loved everybody. That’s why they hung him. Hateful fools despise happy fellas like that.”
“That’s awful, I wish he wasn’t dead.”
“Dead? Boy, he ain’t dead.”
“Because he used his trusty six-shooter?”
“No son, because Good Friday’s about love. And love can’t die.”