Thinking About Sunday feelings


Sunday afternoon was lovely for a December day. It was one of those clear blue sky and yellow sun treats. There was very little wind at first. It actually got up to 60° which is really just sweatshirt weather. I know because I wore one of my Christmas sweatshirts to church today, along with a pair of jeans, boots that I bought last week (that feel as close to a pair of bedroom slippers that I have ever worn), a Santa cap, and a necklace made of clothespin reindeer strung on a ribbon along with a few red beads and small bells. One of my parents gave me that necklace back in the early 90s while I was still teaching fifth grade. It’s one of my most favored pieces of “jewelry” to pull out over the holidays. I actuallly ran into someone wearing the same necklace this year at the Christmas concert. She loves her necklace too.

Before class one of my friends was walking in the same time as I did. She commented on my festive outfit. I told her that I have made a major decision. Seniors who dress old, act old. There are some weeks that I feel I’m pulling a Benjamin Button act. I feel really good and young (until I look in the mirror). That doesn’t mean I wear teenage fashions. For one thing they don’t make them for my shape. But I try not to dress dowdy.

I remember growing up. The women with whom I came in contact in my home town definitely looked and acted OLD when they were the age I am now. Actually, most of the men did too. I’m so glad I am my age now in 2010 rather than in the 60s. There’s too much life left in me.

I ushered today up in the balcony. I usually take the center door position downstairs. The two in the center are the ones who collect all the bags from the other ushers and, along with a board member, count the money starting before the end of the service. Actually, we just gather all the 1s, 5s, 10s, 20s, etc.,checks and envelopes in different piles. We then report how many of each there are. Someone else actually counts the money on Monday.

Today was supposed to be the day of the children’s play. I missed it last year because I was helping with the money, so this year I took the upstairs position instead so that I could see the children. However, the format was changed this year. It wasn’t a “play” so much as a song with speaking parts. There were far fewer children and they performed while the ushers collected the money. It was over before the minister blessed the collection. I could have assumed my usual position after all.

Up in the balcony

The teacher in me has to be controlled on the days that I usher. I have a low tolerance for parents who allow their children to create a commotion. There was one young boy, probably about five, who started to pitch a fit in the balcony. He said several times, “I want to draw.”  He was whining loudly. I don’t know what his problem was, but he was unhappy. We have a dimmed lighting guided meditation time during the service. It was then that he started to cry loudly. Our balcony is not the easiest one to manuever around. Each row of pews is raised above the row in front of it. I figured it would cause more commotion for me to wend my way over to where they were seated to remind them we have a nursery than to just sit still. Finally about half way through the meditation, the mother guided the child up the stairs to the top and then tried to get him to go down. At that point he balked and didn’t wish to go downstairs announcing that fact loudly. She picked him up and carried him down the stairs. It is difficult to listen to the meditation when something like that occurs.

 No sooner had she gone down than a woman who had taken her two daughters downstairs came back up. They could be heard clumping up every stair. The girls preceded the mother. There are about four steps down to the front row. One of the girls decided to jump down each one. The sound of bam, ….bam….bam…..bam….echoed through the sanctuary. There are pews beneath the balcony. I’m certain it sounded like cannons. The mother was oblivious to the whole situation. I waited for her to whisper something to her daughter about showing respect during the service, but that never occured. I would like to think she said something to the child afterwards, but I doubt it.

When the service was over and I had collected all the bulletins that had been left in the pews (why people think hired janitors do that I’ll never know), I joined the crowd in the fellowship hall to say good bye to our student minister. I addressed him as Reverend and he laughed as we hugged. “I guess I better get used to hearing that,” he said. He is really a special man. He is not exactly young. He felt called to the ministry in his 40s. He took a leap of faith to become ordained. I really respected his nerve to do that. He is about twenty years behind where others his age are, but I feel he will catch up fairly quickly. He is a special person. He is not finished yet, because he was ordained in a divinity school that teaches other than what our spiritual ministry practices. He is off to Unity Village in  Kansas to attend the Institute there. The faculty up there is not sure how many courses to make him take since he is the first “outside” ordained minister asking for permission to teach the way we believe.  Everyone is playing it by ear. I wish him well.

On the way home, I saw a man holding a sign by the highway about 1/2 mile from my home. I wasn’t able to read the entire sign, but it said something like “Single parent, laid off job, needs work, will do anything.” The guilt really set in. I don’t really have any work around my house for him to do, but I started remembering that yesterday was the day I blogged about feeling so much abundance in my life. Here is a man who is reduced to standing by the roadside, humbling himself, asking for work. I noticed his sign did not ask for money like most of them do. He hasn’t been reduced yet to begging. I caught myself feeling more sorry for him because he’s a male single parent, but I snapped out of that pretty quickly. A single parent is a single parent whether male or female. I guess that the males, however, tend to get more sympathy.

My abundance is not monetary. My feelings of appreciation come more from the total sum of the life I am living now. This man, however, appears to be living a life of lack and need. Whoever he was, I wish him Godspeed and good luck. This time of year being in that situation is a double whammy. I think I’ll pray tonight that his situation changes soon. Please do the same. Namaste. Attic Annie

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