Monday, April 10, 2006

Nearer My God to Thee

You know those taboo subjects you aren't ever supposed to talk about for fear you might offend someone? In the U.S., those subjects appear to be sex, money, politics, and religion. I may be missing one, but you get the idea. I am not interested in offending anyone, but I thought I might share an experience that Sweet William and I had over the weekend. Sometimes in a relationship that has gone on for some time, you need to up the ante -- shake things up a bit, add a little spice. You know what I'm saying.

Yesterday, Sweet William and I -- for the first time ever -- went to church together.

We are not big on church-going, and this is an ongoing discussion with us, because we both believe in God -- perhaps not the exact same one -- and we wonder if we are failing Viva in some way by not giving her a religious education. We went to our church in the interest of taking Viva with us eventually and perhaps getting her into a Sunday school program at some point and maybe even ultimately getting her baptized, as we have fallen down on the job in that regard. My main issue with this is that I don't want to be a hypocrite. I have not been baptized either, and ideally we would find a church that we like where both of us could do this. But I don't want to be baptized just for the sake of being baptized; I want to be baptized because it has meaning for me. This is a much longer and more serious issue that I don't want to get into now because we are leaving town on vacation this morning and I have maybe ten minutes left on the laptop before I have to go into hyperactive feed-my-family-and-pack-up-the-car mode.

However! We went to church yesterday, and the church we go to (where we have both been before, but separately) is a progressive Protestant church. It is a "welcoming community of faith," and what this means is pretty much anyone who wants to come can come on in. This translates into a congregation with a wide diversity of age, race, income, and sexual orientation, and makes for pretty interesting people-watching -- for one, the six-foot-three transgendered woman who was greeting parishioners in a pretty pastel outfit. While we were waiting for the service to begin, Sweet Dub and I watched with fascination as a black woman wearing a black and white track suit with a neon green headwrap swayed down the aisle, looking from pew to pew. She turned around and came back up the aisle looking for a seat, and that is when I saw that she was carrying a white babydoll and a weary madness in her eyes. I was certain that there was going to be some Crazy Shit Going Down (Going Down! Up in the Church!), but unfortunately for the purposes of this story, she found a seat on the other side of the church, sat quietly through the entire service (including the very loud Passion play, since this was Palm Sunday), and as we were processing out, it appeared she had fallen asleep in her pew, still holding the baby doll.

And in the end, that is one very good reason to go to church. To give you a wider perspective, and bring you a little bit of peace and comfort.

Be well while I am gone. I'll be back on Wednesday.

No comments: