The voices he heard were the sounds of a prayer meeting. The movie in his head took him back to the second Great Awakening, the one before the civil war. Nolan watched as the people prayed for all sorts of things. They prayed for family, country, the future, the world, every kind of sin and wickedness to be wiped away and they prayed for the world to come alive and be awakened. There were hundreds of people in a small country church with no electricity or running water. It was hot and everyone was sweating but they didn’t care about that. There weren’t enough chairs but it didn’t matter. People were just desperate for God to do something in the world in their time.
As he watched, Nolan noticed his name being called by a woman several times. He looked and there was a woman that resembled his grandmother but much younger. She was praying for her family line. “Lord Jesus!” She cried out in a loud, pained voice, “Use my family to reach the earth with your gospel! Take my children for your service, let them walk in your ways and live among your fiery stones! Lord allow them to finish the great commission with the fire of our generation! Lord don’t let your revival stop until the final generation has swept the earth with your glorious word!”
“Nolan!” His aunt yelled from two feet away. Wake up boy, I need to show you some things. He snapped back into the moment but he was a little confused at both this moment and that vision in his mind. It was hard to jump from one thing to another like that but he managed to do it without ever admitting what was happening inside. They would think he was crazy and lock him up. At least that’s what he thought would happen, he didn’t want to take the risk.
“Were you lost in a day dream boy?” She asked Nolan. It was a surprisingly good description for what had just happened but it was also common language. People didn’t actually expect you to be having a dream while you were awake. They just meant that you were imagining and letting your mind go wherever it wanted to go. It was ok to agree that it was a day dream, so he did. Then off they went to look first at the kitchen, then the bedroom and finally the tv. Nolan could play outside all he wanted but he was to make his bed, clean up his messes in the kitchen and always turn the TV back to the channel it was on.
After that Nolan’s uncle tried to take him fishing in the pond. There were some bream out there that were easy to catch. He thought the boy would know how to fish by this time in his life. And to some extent he did. Nolan could bait a hook and he knew how to use one kind of reel. But he quickly made a bird’s nest of the open face reel his uncle gave him. He was handed some finger nail clippers and told to cut out the bird’s nest and tie on a new hook. By the time he got the line back straight the fun was going out of fishing in the pond. Then he sprung the news on his uncle, he didn’t know how to tie a hook on.
That was about enough for his impatient uncle. “Didn’t your daddy ever teach you nothin’?” He snapped angrily at Nolan. The truth was, no his daddy didn’t usually teach him things. His uncle said he would just fix it later on and they went back up to the house. His uncle didn’t try to do much of anything with him the rest of the week. That was about par for the course in Nolan’s life though. He would try and do the best he could but the men in his life were bothered by him. He was easily cast aside when he became inconvenient. It didn’t make for a lot of good experiences and it didn’t help him get along with the boys at school, but that was the life he had and he was used to it by now.