Ancient readers who go all the way back to aintsobad with me will remember the early story of Otis, who fell out of his pickup truck one day on a narrow road between Brock and Lipan. Otis was stunned, of course, because people do not usually fall out of their own truck while driving, even if the truck is old and the door does not shut right and the driver does not always use his seat belt properly.
Otis fell out of his own old truck, which continued to churn ahead, finally pushing through a shallow bar ditch and into a barbed wire fence, sliding along the fence on its own momentum. Otis lay in the road on his side, out of wind, unable to right himself. He lay there for sometime, then rolled over and vomited. He recoiled from his regurgitation, only minimally staining his old bib overalls, but, well, it was vomit, ok? He could not get out of that either and the fact it was his vomit did not make things better.
Otisian scholars say it was then and there he had his conversion but the empirical evidence just shows he laid there until a mysterious voice told him to get up out of the road.
“Hey, Mr. how long are you gonna lay there? Don’t you have someplace to go?” are the words Otis recounted in the Mackie’s Hamburger joint down the road when he remounted his truck and drove over there for a cheeseburger and fries with sweet tea.
“Why you could have been run right over, Otis,” Mackie told him. “That was a miracle.”
Mackie would see miracles everywhere you looked. He thought it was a miracle the cockatoo he bought at a flea marker took to him right away. The cockatoo never left his shoulder except when he showered after the first day. Mackie’s customers did not much like the bird on his shoulder when he took orders at the counter and some would not abide the bird at all when Mackie tried to serve them. A news reporter out of Dallas got hold of the story, made a big deal out of it and the bird became a part of local lore. Otis did not care one way or another.
“A miracle, I tell you,” Mackie said and the bird dipped his head in agreement.
“A miracle is divine intervention in human history. When people do great things it may or may not be a miracle, ’cause a miracle is one of those things you cain’t explain ‘cept by sayin’ ‘God did that.'”
Mackie knew a lot about miracles. He often went to the small Methodist church down the road with his cockatoo, which the Methodists took to right away, being inconoclastic and innovative in nature and needing people as bad as they did. The itinerant preacher in the Methodist church talked about miracles a lot and even gave Mackie a book about miracles by an Englishman named Lewis. Mackie never read it because he could not read English English but he did listen to radio shows about miracles and they often mentioned the Englishman, so Mackie thought it was alright.
“A miracle,” Otis said, and turnjed it over in his head.
And, Otis thought about the miracle of his rescue for days. He sought out an eye doctor, first, because the fall seemed to have hurt his vision. Otis did not want to be a blind miracle man.
“Take these drops,” the doctor told him. “Use them for fourteen days, twice a day, two drops each time.”
“You got something in your eye when you puked,” he added. “Don’t stay alone during this time. You may experience blurred vision. And do not drive. I don’t know how you even got here.”
“Another miracle,” Otis thought. He went to stay with the Fussbenders, who took him in with open arms and made him pot roast on both Tuesdays he was with them.
Otisian scholars of the Realized Historical School say Otis realized his vocare over time. The Running Truck, the Stained Overalls, the Pilgrimmage to the Shouldered Bird, the Eye Drops and the Pot Roast all came out of Early Otisanity but mostly before Otis became certain of his miracle. For me, there is no evidence that Otis intended to do anything more than get out of the road, talk to Mackie, get his eyes right and then see the Fussbenders.
G.E. Picker, one of the most well known Otisians, writes, “Otis did not expect veneration. He did not know the meaning of the word veneration. He did not know the meaning of the word adoration. He did not know the meaning of the word stigma. In fact, there were a lot of words Otis did not know the meaning of.”
- Most Otisian scholars are somewhere in between Realized and Mystic Otisology. Our purpose here is to present Otis’ vision of grace and peace, which he wrote about a lot. His proverbs or wisdom sayings are all about grace and peace. I believe Otis wanted mostly to be left alone but a whole cult grew up around his Rescue From the Road at the Narrow Bend. He had to make sense of this for people.
- Many Otisian scholars are Pre-Bend Expectationists, who believe all his utterances prior to his conversion in the Stained Overalls point ot the Rescue. I think this is illogical. Otis was just a man who needed love prior to his conversion. The infusion of divine grace made him something more after that date.
- The Otis School of Disappearantionists say Otis never died. This is unlikely. I do hold that he disappeared sometime prior to his death but I think he just ran out of things to write and went off to live out his life in peace.
Tomorrow we will actually post some of the Wisdom Sayings of Otis, then return to I Otis 1:7-11. I know you are excited to find these writings, as am I, but this is hard work. Bear with me. We will get to the Veneration of Enid when we can. Of course, the Wisdom of the Pigs will emerge.
Please just remember the study of Otis is all about grace, out of which comes peace. Grace, grace, grace. When in doubt or confusion, run to grace.