DEARLY BELOVED: Donnie Lawrence, owner of Eternal Tranquil Chapel, is an over-the-top cliché. His mother moved into his lower Alabama waterfront home and keeps asking, “When are you getting married?” adding “I want grandchildren before I die” and “The patter of little feet will be like beating to my heart.”
Coming out doesn’t help. Neither does blurting out a name before the groom-to-be knows. Confessing to his receptionist/secretary does ease Donnie’s conscious, but she winds up being his mother’s Plan B. No wonder Donnie is having a mid-life crisis enabled by the ghost of his dead father.
Life changes following the death of a child. Kumbaya Night featuring a drag queen gospel trio at Dearly Beloved furthers the transformation.
SECOND BLESSING: Mildred doesn’t think she’s holier-than-thou; she knows it. Her Second Blessing confirms it.
She explains, “A Second Blessing is more than just doing right. It’s the knowledge that you are pure. It’s not thinking of yourself better than others, though you are, or showing it, though you do, since it’s as natural as breathing. A Second Blessing is a gift shared with prophets of old and yet to come. It’s not just having my name written in the Book of Life, but engraved.”
Mildred knows this year’s revival will be a disaster. Francis Paul Day, an ex-junkie, is the speaker. Plus he has the same christened name as her dead beloved son! And he’s obsessed with her granddaughter! She is determined to keep them apart, but exposing him reveals a family secret.
Jonathan Swift said, “We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.” Second Blessing ponders this truth.