Saturday, May 30, 2009

Church On Unfinished Road

Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed in them. - Henry David Thoreau

"Why here?"

That was the first of many questions tumbling through his mind after he chose to follow that apparently hand scrawled sign he had driven past all week, each time accelerating his curiosity.

At first blush, it certainly lived up to the name...except maybe the "Church" part.

There was no "church"...there was no 'Official Greeters' children's check-in and certainly no signs.

There were no musicians that he could see. Heck, there was probably no Pastor.

When he found himself looking around for an 'order of worship' he almost broke out laughing.

He was habitually early to everything, but even so there was already no parking, not only had plenty of people already gathered, but there was no organized parking and no attempt at it. There was no seating, or rather seats. People were sitting on rocks and dirt clumps or simply sprawled out in the middle of this tiny incomplete rocky lane cutting into what would eventually be a subdivision like thousands of others throughout the city.

No one had a blanket, or folding chair....not even a tarp. It was rocks and dirt and all that usually includes, like bugs and stuff of nature that you never seem to notice but which always makes you itchy later.

He noticed something else was lacking: one had on shoes.

Shoes were scattered at the entrance to the jagged pitiful pretense of a road, or sitting atop people's cars that were parked all akimbo either in nearby fields or on adjacent - civilized by cement - thoroughfares.

It wasn't like he was dressed for high church, but he wasn't relishing the idea of negotiating the bramble in his flip flops, the idea of tossing them and the meager protection they provided from thorns, sticks, sharp rocks, and all that other itchy nature stuff didn't heighten his enthusiasm. It did make him question his sanity though.

It was barely 7:00 a.m. and it was already warm enough to work up a sweat while simply ambling through the scrub brush from his car and trying to find a place to sit...or squat.

He was a little surprised to see all the children. They were all sitting with their families...apparently happily. None of them running about.

"Then again," he thought at about the same time he was wondering when he last had a Tetanus shot, "take away their shoes on this ground and that pretty much solves the 'pay attention in church lil' Johnny' issue."

He stumbled forward, and was fairly certain now the congregation had more than its fair share of gnats, and probably mosquitoes.

"Keep moving and get comfortable kid. We don't have all day and this service always starts on time."

The authoritative voice came from behind him.

He turned to see an older gent who would be considered distinguished were it not for the overalls and lack of shoes.

"Get comfortable?"

Was he joking?

Authors note: This idea has been keeping me awake at night, so I figured I would start writing it down. I'm making no "to be continued" promises. If you're uncomfortable with that...maybe that's how it should be.