No person is a hundred percent evil. This fact was aptly demonstrated in the life of the leader of a cultic house church. Though Brother Herald, as I called him in my How I Was Razed memoir, did hurt my feelings and taught me blasphemous lies, He also had a zany sense of humour.
One way of showing his comic sensibilities was to catch people in their own words. I once mentioned to Brother Herald that I planned to get a hair cut. “Why don’t you get them all cut?” he joked.
Before one Wednesday evening Bible study, he also pointed to the hole in my sock and said, “I see your toe is feeling better.” When I asked why, he said, “It’s coming out. Perhaps he thought we should have a “coming out” party for it.
Brother Herald delighted in pestering his cat. When that feline wanted out, he would open the door from the kitchen to the enclosed porch and close it after him. Then the cat would realize that he also needed the outside door opened. When he meaowed for Brother herald to open the door, he opened the inside one but shut it quickly after the cat strolled into the kitchen. This game continued for several more times before the cat gave up and went looking for somebody else to let him out.
Brother Herald had a fiendish way of treating fussy pussies. When his cat refused to eat what was served to him, Brother Herald would carefully spoon it back in the tin and present his cat with the empty plate. When the cat sniffed the plate and meowed for food, our minister carefully took the cat food tin out of the fridge and meticulously spooned the rejected amount back onto the plate. This game continued until the frustrated feline gave up and ate the food or stalked off in disgust.
Brother Herald also had a way of getting back at the cat when he became a pest. Grabbing the feline and holding him in his arms, he would speak softly into his ears, “Poor Puddy.” The puff of his breath would irritate the cat’s ears and he’d flick them. Then Brother Herald would let the annoyed cat go.
One time, the cat had the last laugh. He strolled up to Brother Herald and demanded pets. Our minister started petting his coat against the grain. The clever feline turned his body around so that he was now being petted the proper direction.
Sometimes people would blunder and Brother Herald would take full advantage of their verbal mistakes. His wife once said, “It wasn’t me. It was some other idiot.” You can imagine what fun our minister had with that remark.
Brother Herald also had fun with Bible verses. “Did you know that suspenders were mentioned in the Bible?” he asked as we ate lunch after Sunday service. “Ecclesiastes chapter four and verse ten says, “For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.'” He also humoursly justified his wearing of suspenders with that verse.
On rare occasions, I had the last laugh as well. “You shouldn’t pester the cat like that,” Brother Herald admonished after supper one Wednesday evening.
“How should I pester him?” I joked. That quip left our minister speechless.
I wrote much about that house church and the bizarre doctrines which Brother Herald taught in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity.” Read more about it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.