Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The one about displaying grace at church...

Last week was vacation bible school at the church we attend near Asheville. Robert and I really like this church (and our community) so we were excited that the kids would have a chance to meet more kids and hopefully make some connections.

I offered to help out, so several nights, I stayed and did whatever was needed. It was a lot of fun!

Wednesday night as the kids and I were leaving (along with everyone else), I opened my car door and started to get in. I had one leg in the car and was in the process of ducking down to sit in the seat.

And then my other knee buckled. So instead of just sinking down into my car seat, my head slammed at ear level into the top of the door frame. The recoil and shock from that resulted in my falling straight down onto the ground on my butt with my other leg still wedged in the car.

Also of note: when my head slammed against the frame, I *may* (and by may I mean totally did) have screamed out "SH*T!! because it really hurt and it just flew out of my mouth. Sorry, Jesus. :(

I clumsily got off the ground and into the car somehow and drove away quickly, really embarrassed by the fall and what I had shouted out. In the church parking lot. With lots of kids and parents around.


The next day, I was completely prepared to go and face the music and apologize where necessary, but right before we needed to leave, Sara fell in the huge puddle that had formed in our downstairs hallway from an a/c leak and we ended up taking her to the ER to check for broken bones and the need for stitches - both of which she fortunately escaped. Needless to say, I didn't make it to vacation bible school that night.

On Sunday, we were visiting family so we went to church with them. Arriving just in the nick of time before the service started, we were hurriedly escorted to a pew towards the back of the church.

Whew! Safe!

Then came the first hymn. There was apparently a men's choir visiting and they were sitting behind us in the pews. When the music started, they used their outside voices inside. And while they had beautiful voices, it was kind of like someone had switched on a surround sound movie in the middle of the night at full volume with the largest speaker right behind my and Robert's heads.


It startled Robert and made me giggle. As the choir slowly filed out of the pew and towards the front of the church and the actual choir area, I was having difficulty controlling myself. The next hymn a few minutes later was then belted out by a beautiful soprano voice from directly behind us as well. And, it made me giggle. There was a gentleman sitting in front of us who had been way generous with the cologne and every time he moved, a wave of it would hit me right in the face. Normally, that wouldn't be funny. Normally. But apparently this was not going to be a normal day. Nor could I stop myself from staring at his toupee...which was not on exactly correctly.  Oh dear.

I thought I had regained control of myself by the end of the hymn, but then the first prayer was extraordinarily long and um...thorough. Normally, I would have found it beautiful and touching (which it was), but you know how when you are trying not to giggle somewhere really inappropriate that everything becomes funny?

Yeah, it was like that.

Finally, she finished and the minister took over. Only he was particularly impassioned about his sermon and kept stretching his words out at the end of his sentences with extra syllables. So 'watch' turned into 'wat-tttttttcccccccchhhhhaaaaaaa' and 'relic' turned into 'rellllllllllllllll-iiiiiiiicccccccccccaaaaaahhhhhhh'.

I was shaking horribly from trying to hold in my laughter and tears were streaming out of my eyes. When we stood up to sing again, Robert, who had been mostly ignoring me and paying attention to the sermon like a good Christian, looks over, sees the tears, and assumes I'm crying.  To which he says, "Are you CRYING?!?!" and I swear it bounced off the walls. I couldn't answer. I couldn't do anything but think about butterflies and weed pulling and deep breathing.

It. Was. Horrible.

After staring at my shoes for a few minutes, I felt like I was good to go. Until I looked up and noticed that there was a gentleman asleep at that very moment. So I pinched my hand really hard and concentrated on memorizing phrases from the bulletin.   It's the only thing that got me through.

This was SO not my week to be in church. Guess I'm really lucky this didn't happen:

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