So I'm driving down the street this morning, on my way to Walmart instead of my local Baptist church (shame on me) and I stop at a red light. To my right sits a large white church, steeple bells ringing, bringing in the sheaves and everything. The parking lot is jam-packed with shiny cars that probably took a Saturday evening bath just to show off in the Sunday morning sunshine. It's the first breath of spring here in my neck of the woods, and it brings out the church-goers in droves.
I live in the South. The so-called "Bible Belt." Winter is hard on church-goers. Any news of the least bit of snow, ice, or even a wet road will cancel church. Most folks down here depend on their weekly fix of church gossip like Fox News depends on evangelicals for their ratings. Once the weather turns warm, every Sunday is Easter in the South, I swear.
As a writer, I'm constantly aware of my surroundings. So when I see a large woman to my left, big pink hat on her head like a flamingo's nest--feathers and all, I'm engrossed. This church lady is about to lay into her grandchildren. Lagging behind, the three young boys, ages (my guess was 12, 9, and 7) had already pulled their shirts out of their pants and one had taken off his tie and was about to wrap it around his brother's (my guess) neck.
Well, this pink church lady (her billowy dress matched her hat) wasn't about to stand for this behavior. She had her large black Bible firmly in her right hand and took to swatting the backsides of these little fellas. Hollering and cussing, she put a whole new spin on Bible thumping. Overflowing in her shoes, this hot-pink church lady didn't care who heard her. I had to crack my window ... If you think I would miss this golden opportunity, you're crazy!
"Get in there! Get in that church! You're late! Quit tormenting ... go on, now! I mean it, Gerald!"
Finally, somebody honked behind me. I'd almost sat through a green light. But I didn't care. I was about to turn around and go in for church, hoping to hear more from the pink church lady. I applaud her diligence. She was bound and determined to get those three boys into that church.
Then I thought, that wild woman could have been yelling at me. I mean, it's been a while since I've sat through a real, live church service. Mike and prefer to worship at home, for many honest reasons. (A blog for another day.)
I drove away thinking about the book, The Shack. Maybe God really is a big, African-American woman, swatting our backsides in the right direction. Hmmm.
Something to think about.
Rock on, church lady.
Blessings to you and yours.