I know God has a killer sense of humor. I could list on here the zillion times He's shown up in ways that are profound, faithful, amazing....and humorous. It might be my favorite God quality. When it isn't-it isn't-but a whole lot of the time I think life is funny. We're human. We're flawed. We mess up. For whatever weird reason, I think spiritual stuff is extra funny
I was recounting this story to a friend of mine last night who said to me today, "Bren. You have to blog that. I was still laughing when I went to bed." So, here goes.
I'm getting WAY more comfortable in a liturgical church setting. I get it. I know what to say. I know when to say it. I'm getting to where I even kind of know what's next and whether it's in the Book of Common Prayer, the Service Book, the Hymnal, the bulletin, or the music book especially for the 1130 service. I swear whoever planned this church was ORGANIZED! Ha. So, anyway, now that I know where to find what and when-I'm starting to get the whole rhythm of the liturgical church......and I love it.
Enter Wednesday night several months ago. I'd never been to that service before. I went straight from work. I was talking to a friend on the phone while walking in (not paying attention) so I followed the people in front of me right into the overflow sanctuary. Quite frankly-I didn't know there WAS an overflow sanctuary. So, that's where I ended up-in a row with a bunch of random people which was fine but I got off the phone and thought, "Where am I?"
By then the service started and this room is kind of to the right of the front so you can see-but you can't. Anyway, when my friends ask about stuff at church I just tell them, "I don't know. I just do what my row is doing." :) It's the truth. So, I was paying attention, but this guy walked in and started doing something on his phone and I started thinking about what kind of phone it was and all the sudden my entire row (and a bunch of other people) stand up and start walking to the front. My thought? It's too early for communion and I don't remember seeing that whole set up, but again, I couldn't really see.
So, I either had to go with them or a bunch of people were going to have to crawl over me. I promise you not so long ago I was a "keep up appearances" at church kinda person. Apparently not anymore. So, I'm in the middle of all these people walking to the front when it occurs to me that...
A. I don't know what we're doing and
B. everyone isn't going.
It was too late. What to do, what to do? "Um, Lord?" Total peace. Okay! (Good thing the peace arrived because my other options were none!)
Everyone kneels at the alter. It's a lot of people. I'm somewhere in the middle. I wanted so much to worry, but I just couldn't. No one was looking at me anyway and I honestly just didn't care. I realize by now on Wednesdays they offer a time of "Special prayers for those in need." As long as it's "In general" I definitely qualified! (and thank goodness it wasn't "Confess your biggest sin in this line" Wednesday! I have GOT to pay more attention!).
In spite of myself, my vision tunneled on God showing up in this moment. Sweet indescribable peace. Literally drowning in grace and mercy in that moment. The whole world faded away. The priest comes to me, in the middle, FIRST (Um, why??? I'm in the middle!). He prayed the most beautiful prayer over this life. I can't remember any of it, but I feel like I've lived it out the rest of the week. I know it wasn't a magical prayer, but it was a fairly eternal moment.
I'm not one who gets all wrapped up in experience, but the bottom line is the peace at that alter now several months later-hasn't left. It's weird. And it's wonderful. And I'm so thankful. More than I realized, I must have needed that special God touch. That gentle reminder, "I'm here. I care."
And I had to laugh to myself last Wednesday when a lady sat down next to me and said, "Mind if I just do what you do?"
Not at all :)