From the Southern Baptist Convention…

I used to work for a University. My boss would sometimes send me to various conventions and/or “meetings” with folks I’d probably not choose to hang out with if I had my ‘druthers. I didn’t appreciate those times as much as I should have…

Walking to my car after the first full day of the SBC in Nashville, I found myself behind a rather large man wearing an orange suit. It wasn’t a corrections facility uniform. It was an orange, 3-piece suit.

Said man was also wearing a yellow shirt and canary-colored shoes.

I am not the fashion police. I, myself, am sometimes guilty of wearing things that are not “appropriate” in the eyes of my wife… I mean… others. For instance, I have a pair of cargo shorts with holes and paint splats on them that I enjoy wearing just about every opportunity I get. My wife doesn’t particularly like cargo shorts.

Anyway, I tell you about his clothes not because I am an overly critical or judgmental person. I tell you because that might help you understand why I took interest in the man’s conversation.

Incidentally, I do not remember what the other guy in the conversation was wearing.

The orange-suited-person stopped cold in his tracks (right in front of me and about 9 others) and hugged the other guy. He squeezed the guy… hard, and patted him on the back (almost) shouting, “Oh, how I love you, Brother,” (everyone calls everyone else “brother” at the Southern Baptist Convention) “…Joel… Brother… I am going to be praying for you by name… I love you, Brother!”

The other guy – “Joel” – frowned at his citrus-looking “brother” with a curious grin and said, “You mean, John… right? Um… My name is John.”

Without skipping a beat and – in fact – at an almost hurried pace, the orange suit guy shot back, “Right. And I’m gonna be prayin’ for ya!


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