I found God. Just around the corner.

Having found two sets of car keys, it should came as no surprise that i found God the same week. The surprise was that he lives just down the street. We’re neighbors.

Prior to Sunday I hadn’t been to church since the Carter administration. i think electing Ronald Reagan made me lose faith. Or maybe it was that I broke up with Rhonda Hudson, who just happened to go to the same church. Hard to remember the details.

It’s not that I ever stopped believing in God. I’m not sure who or what the Higher Power is. Maybe it’s a diety. Maybe it’s karma. Maybe it’s the good inside of each of us. But I never liked to bundle up something that huge and call it religion. I grew up a Southern Baptist, with fire and brimstone and wearing your Sunday best and a total intolerance of any other faiths. I remember a guy in my Sunday School class asking why if you believed that a rock was God, worshiped it sincerely and led a good life you couldn’t go to heaven. I think the SS teacher’s head actually exploded. Not a good day.

But there are no atheists in foxholes, and the times are such that we could use all the help we can get. Mo is from a deeply religious background, still sporting an Amy Grant tattoo on her left buttock and with a family that has done amazing things in the missionary field. There is a little church down the road that seemed pretty nonthreatening, so off we went.

I wore khakis and a short-sleeve shirt and feared I would stand out because of my attire. I was correct. The congregation sported mostly Hawaiian shirts, shorts and flip flops. Jeans and T-shirts were the attire of choice. The vibe was that of a bunch of people who just came together to celebrate. Sort of like a Bon Jovi concert without having to listen to “You Give Love a Bad Name.”

The preacher was a young guy with an untucked shirt and jeans. He told jokes, imitated a ventriloquist dummy and made an hour fly by. It has to be the first service ever that I didn’t sneak a peek at my watch.

We prayed and we laughed and we learned how we can be better people. There were no rules. No threats. No right or wrong. I got the feeling that you could be Hindu or Muslim or a Green Party member and still be embraced in this place. We left happy.

Weird. We’re already planning our Palm Friday outing. I’ve never been to a Palm Friday outing. But then again I’ve never worn flip flops to church…

About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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5 Responses to I found God. Just around the corner.

  1. Jill says:

    I was raised Catholic, enough said! But will you ask God, with your palm leaf in hand, if he’ll make my back runable for 26 miles in a couple weeks?? I’ll save him a chocolate bunny for his time. I’m certain I don’t own any plaid, so we’re safe there….but it always brings a smile to see you in Jill land.

    • If I recall correctly, there’s something in the Sermon on the Mount along the lines of “Blessed are those who wear Orange Shorts in the big race: for they shall see God.” Of course, I’m not sure you really want to see God during Boston. Bill Rodgers, maybe. It’s GOTTA get better. You’ve worked way too hard. There. That should do it. I look forward to my chocolate bunny.

      (A bonus religion/chololate bunny story: Mo’s sister was a missionary in Venezuela. She once got a chocolate bunny in the mail, but when she went to pick it up the head had been bitten off. Funny and sad at the same time.)

  2. docturkey says:

    That God lives just down the street doesn’t surprise me.
    That you FOUND him? Now, that’s intriguing!

    Is it a church that doesn’t make an exclusive claim to the possession of the truth, as you seem to suggest?
    Is it a church that believes that all folks — in fact, all living creatures — are ultimately connected, like cells in a single organism?
    Is it a church that realizes questions and doubts are at least as important as answers and certainties?

    Not speaking for anyone but myself, of course, but if the answer to any of these is “no,” then I’d shake the dust off my flip flops and wander over to the next street.

    Surely God can be found there!

    • Hey! Aren’t you the guy who was posting the mean-spirited messages on C2 Iowa’s blogsite?

      • docturkey says:

        At least two things in the universe are infinite:

        Man’s stupidity, starting with my own, and God’s mercy.

        But, at least in the case you reference, my stupidity was otherwise occupied!

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