But, since the elections, I have felt a deep need to be with others that are like-minded in loving God.
This being 2008, I picked out a local church by "Googleing" it. I knew the church was there I just never paid attention to their teachings or the people inside. So, I read about their core beliefs, read about the pastor and perused his writings. “Ok, that one looks ‘safe’”, I said. Wouldn’t want to accidentally attend a snake handler church or something equally bizarre.
I do imagine some strange scenarios, don't I? I’m so distrusting (or maybe just disturbing .. lol). I've seen and experienced too many bad things. (Thanks Dad.)
So, courage in place, I picked out a Sunday to attend. Wore my nice togs, picked out a stylish outfit, styled my hair, dabbed on my nicest perfume. Well, just my luck, it was pouring rain that morning. Not a gentle “Gee, this is nice” rain. But a gully washer, frog strangler, can’t see 5 feet in front of you rain. “Oh great. So much for having a good hair day.” Already this was not going well and I kept wishing I’d stayed home.
There’s the church building in front of me. It looked imposing. Oh God, now there’s people coming up to greet me. I mentally check them for weapons. Here comes the constriction in my chest, the ringing in my ears as I tense.
But, hey, they’re nice but not overly nice (that can be disconcerting). They don't try to hug me or anything really disarming. There are no heads flying out of windows, no human sacrifices on the altar. It’s the typical church with the fake gold cross and plain jane ‘altar’ with adjoining pulpit. Pews were cushioned. That’s nice on the tooshy. Hope I don't doze off.
So far, so good. I breath a little easier. The constriction in my chest has eased and the ringing in my ears has subsided.
The church service started. The people were friendly, the songs fun and the sermon inspirational and short (take note here preachers, keep it short and you keep my attention). Before you knew it I was actually enjoying this place! I relaxed and smiled.
After the service, Sweetie and I got to stand around and talked to the minister. He asked how and why we chose this church, so, I related the event leading up to that point. He got really tickled and a bit puzzled when I related how I “Goggled” him and the church (I reassured him it wasn‘t anything bad). He was impressed by how much I already knew about his writings.
Then I thought I'd be brave and added, “Also, I was making sure y’all weren’t snake handlers.” I thought I’d get just the classic giggle and wave goodbye.
Without skipping a beat, the minister retorted, “Oh, we use those in the evening service!”
We all laughed so hard our sides hurt!
Well, this guy has just passed the first part of the Sparky Sez You’re OK Test.
As we were leaving, the minister also told us this joke I thought I'd share:
A guy goes to a new church. The service started when they locked the doors and got out a box of snakes.
Frightened, the man shouts, “Where’s the back door?”
“We don’t have one,” the preacher shouts back.
To which the man said, “Where would you like one ….!!!?”