Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

This item is under category Religion.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Religion • The Pizza From Hell—Brother Z—And a Dead Cat

At a time when the Assemblies of God attacks upon me had amped up it’s voltage against the ministry God gave me, I received a phone call in the middle of the night from an AG minister who had remained my friend. He had a story to tell me, he said, that would surely lift my spirits.

“It all happened during the time that Brother (Thomas) Zimmerman was giving you the most trouble,” he related. I could visualize the story perfectly as he recounted it.

A missionary couple in the Philippines were beside themselves with excitement. Brother Zimmerman would be coming here—to their home! Brother Z himself and Mrs. Zimmerman!

The missionary couple had an extremely slim budget, but felt they must offer the Zimmermans something to eat during the royal visit. They decided to make a pizza for their honored guests. They prepared the pizza with exquisite care, topped it off with anchovies from a can they had been saving for a long time, and baked it to perfection. The couple placed the pizza on the kitchen counter to cool and hurried to the airport to meet the Zimmerman’s plane.

When they returned to their modest house, the missionary wife went to the kitchen. She found, to her dismay, that the family cat had eaten the anchovies off the pizza, leaving tell-tale powdery footprints in the sauce and dough.

Lacking the time and ingredients to make another pizza (and in a panic), she dusted the footprints off the pizza, re-topped it with the rest of the anchovies from the can, and put it in the oven for a few extra minutes. Praise God, there were enough anchovies and the pizza could take a bit more baking anyway. Nobody would know the difference.

After the repast and fellowship, the Zimmermans graciously praised their hosts for the good lunch and hospitality. The two couples then left for a sightseeing tour of the area, then they left the Zimmermans with another church couple.

When they returned, the missionary couple were horrified to find the cat lying dead on the front porch. Good Lord! It must have been the anchovies the cat ate! The Zimmermans had eaten the same tainted anchovies!

The couple quickly realized that their duty to save the lives of the Zimmermans would have to outweigh their reluctance to confess the embarrassing story of the cat, the pizza, and the footprints.  Mustering up all his courage as he picked up the phone while fervently intoning a silent prayer, the missionary said, ‘Brother Zimmerman…we have to—tell you something…”

Brother and Sister Zimmerman were rushed to the hospital, which was a bit primitive, where they had to endure the gagging procedure of having their stomachs pumped. When the ordeal was finally over, Brother and Sister “Z” affected the utmost in stoic Pentecostal holiness and grace as they wobbled weakly to the airport for the long, miserable flight home.

The missionary couple rode back to their home in silence. As they pulled into the driveway, their neighbor called to them and rushed over. “I wanted to talk to you earlier today,” he said breathlessly “I’m sorry—but I ran over you cat and killed him. I couldn’t help it. I put him on your front porch and rang the bell but nobody was home. I wanted to tell you about it before you found him.”

Hmmm.Since this happened during the most vicious attacks on me by him,  perhaps there was a just God in heaven after all. There was some measure of comfort in that confirmation. I did NOT dance in the streets or throw a party. I maintained total, respectful decorum. Well…the best I could.





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