In the early 1950s I was dating a young lady from the small town of Hemphill, Texas. Her father was the pastor of the local Baptist church. In those days pastors were paid very little in salary. However, there were other “perks” that automatically accompanied being a pastor.
One of these perks was offerings of food from the parishioners. Almost daily a member of the congregation would stop by his home and leave some food. On the surface this seems a very nice thing to do, and it was. However, some of the food often was unidentifiable.
On the Thanksgiving before his daughter, Clara, and I were married, I recall that a church member stopped by their house on the day before Thanksgiving and left some kind of fowl. It had been plucked and cleaned, but it could not be identified as either a chicken, goose, or duck. I always thought that it was a buzzard, but the consensus of opinion was that it was a goose. In fact, one member of the family bit down on a led pellet from the bird shot used to kill it.
My future father-in-law was concerned about how to respond to the members who had brought food that he was afraid to eat, particularly when he dumped it behind the garage. If he told them that the food was delicious, then he was obviously fibbing which is frowned upon in the Bible. After pondering this problem for a while he had a brainstorm of an idea to solve his problem.
He named the place where the food was dumped “the spot”. Then when his members asked how he liked the dish brought to him he would respond with “It truly hit the spot. Thank you very much.” Thus, the giver was pleased and the pastor had not told a fib. Everyone was happy.
Nowadays most pastors are paid a living wage, and only a few people bring fowl, eggs, milk, and, yes, some unknown items to the preacher’s house as a sort of offering. Thus, the problem does not exist in that area as it once did. Over the years my wife and I have had many a laugh about all the things that were brought to her father’s house with good intentions but bad selections.
“WHAT’S FOR DINNER?”
BY: NEAL MURPHY
P.O. BOX 511
107 HEMLOCK STREET
SAN AUGUSTINE, TX 75972
Web Site: www.etexasbook.com