My earliest memory of church is all the proof I need to know that I’m not very good at churching – it was sneaking across Hwy 7 during the service with a friend (here’s looking at you Tiff) to go to McDonald’s instead of going to Sunday school. Combine that with being told that “A pregnant girl walking through confirmation would just be too awkward,” and you might not be surprised to know that I just stayed away.
I thought about going back many times over the years but I was always left with the same thought, “It’d be too awkward.”
Today? Today I make a poor lil church in Colorado put up with me. Today I embrace my awkwardness. After all, it’s part of why some of you read my posts, right? And so without further adieu, having spent the last 2 years back in church, I give to you: My top 10 awkward churchings (and yes I’ve decided that’s a word):
1. After a failed search for some verse we were supposed to be reading in the book of Acts I piped up, “My bible doesn’t have that book.” My husband just shook his head.
2. After singing some weird hymn about Jacob and climbing his ladder I emailed the pastor: “Who the heck is Jacob and why are we climbing his ladder?” He actually answered me.
3. I attend another gathering where we sometimes close with the Lord’s Prayer followed by, “Keep coming back! It works if you work it!” Out of habit I shouted this after the Lord’s Prayer while at church. I got some interesting looks.
4. I still prefer to start that prayer using my daughter’s version, “Our father, who does art in heaven…”
5. Our church has normal Sunday services but they also offer a Tuesday night service where the sermon is presented in a discussion format and we all get to share our thoughts. That’s the one we attend. I’ve gotten very good at just squirming a bit and biting my tongue, but sometimes questions accidentally sneak out. It turns out the Holy Ghost is not referring to Jesus being haunted.
6. I was asked by an acquaintance that attends a different church if my church had admonished me for my past. With a straight face I responded, “Why no! There are lots of us there who became grandmothers before our first marriage.” She just said, “Oh!” nodded a bit, and walked away quickly.
7. We typically light candles at the end of the service and state our prayer requests. I often light an extra one without saying what it’s for. It’s for my animals. That’s normal, right?
8. We recently read about some biblical dudes who lived to be 900 and some odd years. So far I have resisted the temptation to ask how that was possible and if they had Botox back then or just looked hideous.
9. Last week during the children’s portion of the sermon, our pastor was discussing beliefs. He asked the littles what belief was and then he asked his own daughter if there’s anything she believes in. She responded, “Sparkly barrettes!” Suddenly I understood why he puts up with me.
10. It was communion day. I had no idea what to do so I just followed everyone else. When I get nervous my mouth gets dry and as a result the bread had trouble going down. Suddenly a horrific thought came to my mind: “I have Jesus stuck in my teeth.” Are you allowed to have thoughts like that in a church?
Lightening has yet to strike. So I keep going back. Maybe you should too.