22 October, 2006

The Church-Hunting Chronicles, Part 4: The Great Escape!

Sigh. Sigh. Really long drawn out sigh….

We have since determined that indeed we should’ve taken the sticky door as a sign. Or well, no. Rather, we should’ve listened to that prompting that it turns out we both felt, not to go through those doors.

“Hi! I’m Sister Sarah.” (Not in the nun sense.) The first warning bell goes off.

There weren’t very many people there, so we sat down in the back row (on the right side this time) trying to take in our surroundings. There were some very weird posters on the wall. (Wait, was that warning bell number two?).

We weren’t sitting there for very long when I started thinking about my friend BB and how her mom once told me about a morning before church when she was rushing around trying to figure out what to wear to church. The eventual conclusion (which I’m sure plagues thousands of women every Sunday morning): I have nothing to wear! (I'm sure some of you are surprised that I ever have this dilemma - CE...Luckily for BB, this was a dilemma shortened by a haul of great new back to school clothes the next week!)

I had such a dilemma this morning. Unfortunately, the khaki pants and black sweater I settled on was the WRONG choice. Fortunately, I can take comfort in the fact that the RIGHT choice doesn’t actually exist in my closet so even had I known, it would’ve been impossible! That’s right, Friends, this week’s MIA item: A Skirt; an ankle-length skirt to be exact. (*Hangs head in shame*) That was one of the first things I noticed when we sat down: I was the only female wearing pants. Uh oh. I could feel the icy stares penetrating to the core of my khakis. Gulp.

At any rate, we sat down and everybody was milling about greeting people and telling us how glad, “how really, truly glad” they were that we were there. (It should be noted that this is the second time Luke’s been confused with some local obviously rather elusive drummer – perhaps why they were all so excited to see us – they thought we’d returned!) The pastor greeted us too. He said hello and asked us if we were musical. “Are you singers?” I said ‘yes,’ Luke said ‘a little.’ Then, he turned to me and said, “Would you like to come up and sing this morning?” Answered by nervous laughter and ‘no, thanks.’

Really. Um. What the??? No. Of course not! What am I? Crazy? Or just a lunatic?

And then it started. The music. Loud, crazy, gospel revival music (why aren’t these churches merging already!??!). We were stuck on the same song for I don’t even know how long. There were three verses plus a chorus and I’m sure we were on the third or fourth time through and finally, that was it. We’d had enough. One bad church-hunting experience too many. And folks, we did it. We got up and – GASP - left. That’s right, we left. I smiled at one lady as we were leaving, gave her a ‘mea culpa’ look and pointed to my ears. Seriously, we’ve been to concerts that weren’t that loud!!! Good grief!

And flipping through the hymnbook was an experience unto itself. Old Fashioned Meeting. No kidding, it’s a real song. We might as well be Tevya singing Tradition. It was all about longing for the old gospel tent meeting of old. <- And those might’ve actually been some of the lyrics too.

As it turned out, my watch said 10:45. We raced to the car and were just in time to catch the last verse of the first hymn at the Baptist church (from two weeks ago). Ahhh…It was like stepping into an air-conditioned building on a 115 degree Washington day. Everybody was standing in the right spot. No bouncing, no dancing, no random children scattered about playing guitars or tambourines - and no weird posters on the wall about The Will of Man and the Five Senses. Oi. We sang hymns, had a responsive reading, prayer time, offering, and a really good sermon by a guest preacher. He preached from 1 Corinthians 6 (end of the chapter) about how our bodies are not our own. In fact, nothing we have is really our own. Not our car, not our house, not our money. Everything belongs to God. Anything we have has just been given to us for our use while we’re on Earth. And all of it is at God’s disposal at any time He chooses. In fact, the man preaching even used the word CARNAL!!! (More than once, EF! More than once!!!)

So what began as a horrid Sunday experience in Skirts-Only-Where-Are-the-Snakes? Land, ended up a really great Sunday experience in Let’s-Serve-Them-Some-Meat-and-See-What-God-Does Land. Brilliant!

(And I’m not even sorry we didn’t get a pen!)

1 comment:

Earnie Moran said...

Boy you must be bored Running a Blog. Your house looks real nice.
Put a picture of you and Luke on there