Sunday Morning - Again
The images such brings. Between Sunday school and church, Dad would give my brother and I a nickel each (yes, a nickel even though we asked for a quarter) so we could run to the corner store - family owned with the pungent smell of local produce. No air conditioning in this place, just ceiling fans and of course, candy bars. A nickel would buy a candy bar then. My brother and I were usually dressed in nice slacks, a white short sleeved shirt, and a clip on black bow tie, accentuating our "every two weeks almost flat top haircuts" - Daddy, of course, wore a suit as well as a fedora as did the other men. The wives showed up in their Sunday best including the wrap around corpses of minks or foxes, each of them hanging on by biting its own tail in a rigor mortis-esque clamp, one impossible to release. I imagine the poor thing was sewn to itself. Aside from the imposed neck clamp, legs and paws and feet lay about each woman's neck with abandon, as if the furry neck accessory had just been picked up from its nap, one induced by a good dose of Southern Comfort or a nicely aged Xanex.
If you picture such, along with the requisite robes for the choir, the Hammond B-3 having to warm up before it vibrated to life and a microphone that smacked exactly as one Sinatra might have used in the 1940s, then you know the scene well. Such tradition! Such fond memories of how it was "supposed to be".
Church has taken on such different meanings now, whether you worship through a very organized liturgy, or let the Spirit move or you stay in bed and wait for some imagined "foot to fall" since life just refuses to stop long enough for a person to actually live. Many seem to have stopped worshiping altogether however, and who can blame them? The world's condition doesn't bode well for many of the teachings we have received through the years and how easy it is to become cynical. I know I certainly have: "What's the point? Everyone is out for number one. Might as well do as I damn well please." You know the drill.
Fortunately, something or someone will pull me back to a place of quiet, stillness and remembrance: a subtle and loving word, the surreal fragrance of the jasmine blooming in my front yard, a cat's furry side brushing against my leg, a quiet rain.
One of my favorite prayers to remind me of purpose, a prayer of simplicity that resounds with the basic truths of faith is one I often need to remember. So, happy Sunday.
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.Where there is hatred, let me sow love;where there is injury,pardon;where there is doubt, faith;where there is despair, hope;where there is darkness, light;and where there is sadness, joy.O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seekto be consoled as to console;to be understood as to understand;to be loved as to love.For it is in giving that we receive;it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen