Years ago, on one of my daughter’s summer vacation trips to Mississippi, she and her girlfriends were in church. So
the adolescents decided to “get happy” pretending that they had been filled with the Holy Ghost. As they were shouting and kicking on the floor, my daughter opened her eyes to see her Grandmother standing before her. Her Grandma Phoebe sternly said to her namesake, “Little Phoebe, if you don’t get up off that floor, I am gonna tear your tail up! You don’t play with God!”
Telling the story invokes laughter now, but it wasn’t funny to the granddaughter then. It was quite embarrassing. It did however teach her about the sacredness of God and provided a lifelong lesson to the meaning of Southern old time religion. When she talks about family “stuff” and childhood memories, this is one of her favorite Grandma stories.
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