Married at 13, a mother at 14, widowed and childless by sixteen. Ain’t nobody should have to learn life like I did. No soul should have to claw their way back from the bowels of hell, scared and scraped up like I was. If I can keep that from happening to anybody else, then I can live up to my name—Mercy. That’s why I’m teaching you different. They don’t call me Mercy Roller for nothing and I’m givin’ you my side of the story. My story of redemption at the hands of a so-called godly man who made his bed with evil and called his actions righteous. Because of him, I became the very thing I hated most and the trek back through the mire wasn’t easy for a young girl in her teens. In one swift act of vengeance, I lost what was left of a childhood and I was bound tight with the chains of guilt.
I was never the same after the morning Pastor took on judge, jury and Jesus. I made some mighty harsh decisions—decisions out of fury, hurt and fear. Decisions I’d grow to regret. Decisions I’d have to find redemption for or learn to live with. I chose redemption.
Redemption’s a mighty big word for simple folk but that’s what I was after. That’s where I was going. The good book says we can get salvation through our works or at least get a start on it, so that’s what I did. I went to work.
Life ain’t much different here on the mountain than it is in the valley. A man’s lucky to have a horse and wagon, lucky to have a shack with a tin roof. There are sinners on the summit and sinners in the foothills and I reckon Pastor Roller planned on washing every sin from every man.
I spread a blanket over a stand of grass and brushed down the wrinkles. Momma carried an apple pie in one hand and a basket full of chicken in the other. The aroma spun in the breeze meshing with Mrs. Taylor’s fresh sourdough bread. It couldn’t have been a prettier day for a man to repent and then go down to the river for baptizing.
Would you read on?
Last weeks author shall remain anonymous.