Daily Archives: February 3, 2012

One of the Fascinations of Christian TV

Maybe I should have explained this on my earlier post.  If my dad’s still alive he’s too old to care, and anyone else who might have once felt anything about it will also be old enough to handle it.

For me, discovering I had a biological half-brother didn’t come as a particular shock.  I’d always figured I probably had a few, maybe a lot.  My dad never made any bones about having been a rounder all his life.  His extra-marital affairs cost him a couple of marriages.

One night during the early 1980s, Dad and I were sitting in the parking lot of the Georgetown, Texas, hospital at 2:00 am, because his wife of the time was inside being treated in the Emergency Room.  They were visiting my wife and me over some holiday.

It was a long wait, and the conversation drifted to women, observations about them, stories about them, puzzlements about women we’d found during our individual experiences with them.  Somewhere during all that the subject of the products of our meanderings came into the discussion.

He said he didn’t actually know how many kids he’d left along his back trail, but one was a sure thing.  He’d first seen the guy on television because someone told him there was a televangelist who bore an amazing likeness, both in physical features and in mannerisms of speech and gesture.

Dad was mildly interested, enough to eventually watch the guy on television.  Which bowled him over.  He said it was like watching a movie of himself speaking at a Toastmaster meeting at an earlier age.  A suspicion dawned for him sufficiently to cause him to find out more about the man.  Where he was from, how old he was, and eventually to find out who the mother of the televangelist was.  He had, it turned out, vivid recollections of her when they both were a lot younger.

He didn’t name the man, and I didn’t give it a lot of thought for a number of years.  But early during my Christian television watching it came back full force.  For a moment I was disoriented, almost as though I watching my dad on television.  I truly was amazed and there was no doubt in my mind I was seeing my biological half-brother.  Just about my own age. 

My lady friend of the time, whom I made a point of having watch him without explaining, commented, “He looks and talks like you.  Weird.”

The man was a moving speaker and a faith healer of some fame.  So one of the attractions motivating me to rise at 3:00 am and watch Christian television was the strangeness of watching him, particularly. 

I always tried to catch his show and his appearances when I could.  If a person’s going to put himself through an experience of that sort, 3:00 am’s not an altogether bad time to do it.

Old Jules