Shanghaied

I am sitting in my usual corner at church, at the early service,  full of things I cannot say.  The hubby is upstairs, working the slides.  Pastor comes on the scene and ribs the other three people who are on my side of the church.  With those kind of numbers for early service, he says, we should sit on the same side.

Sigh.  I am accustomed to sitting in the same place, but I suppose mixing it up wouldn’t be so bad.

Speaking of mixing it up, Pastor says, the elders have decided to only have one service on the fifth Sunday of every month. That, he says with a smile, does not mean that the early service people just get to skip church that Sunday.  The idea is to build the body.  The idea is fellowship.

He knows us.

I participate in the service, but I am still so full that, were I to say the things in my heart, I would probably hyperventilate.  There’s nothing I do do other than praying.  And I know that’s a big solution, but it’s hard, sometimes, when you can’t see God working and you have been praying, although maybe not as much as you should.

Kathy is sitting next to me, and after the service, she is tracing a Bible verse with her finger.  She is a grandma, like me.  I know she has gone to the elders for prayer before.  Something in me rises up, and I go to her and ask, Grandma to Grandma, if I can pray for her kids and grandkids.  If she will pray for mine.  I did not recognize the thing that rose up in me, but evidently it was the right thing.  Tears come to her eyes.  ‘Oh, yes,” she says.  “Thanks you for having the guts to ask.”

I don’t think it was guts, but we exchange names, names which are now on my bathroom mirrors and in front of the computer to remind me, and we hug.

Pastor has mentioned a “Love Dare” challenge that is starting this Tuesday.  The hubby doesn’t want to go, he says, when I read it to him from the newsletter on Friday, but during the service, Pastor says that people with good marriages should go as an example.  So, when I meet up with the hubby at the foot of the stairs, he says, “Do you want to go to the ‘Love Dare’ thing?”

“Sure,” I say.  I know what got to him.  I know that he, too, is full of things that he cannot put into words and that Pastor convinced him when he said that people with good marriages should attend as a model.  He makes he smile.  The ways he tells me he loves me are subtle ones.

We have our coats on when we are accosted by Joellen, a little, old, bent-over lady who always wears a smile.  (I say old guardedly.  This year, I will qualify for the Senior Meals at Bob Evans. )

“What?” she says, as she looks at our coats, “You aren’t leaving, are you?”

We were.  We had looked at the new Bible classes that were starting and had not seen one that appealed to us both.

But there Joellen stands.  She is looking at me.   I feel guilty.

“Come to Room 103, ” she says.  “We are doing a good movie with Beth Moore.”

I like Beth Moore.

I nod toward the hubby.  “What about him?” I say.

Joellen grins.  “He can come.”

The hubby is a good sport and came to Julie and Julia with me.   He was one of two men in the whole theater.  I thanked him profusely.

He sees the look on my face and says, “Go on.  I’ll find something to occupy myself.”

I follow Joellen into Rm. 103.  Some of the women there I know.  Some surprise me.  She starts to explain what we are going to do, and it sounds to me like other Beth Moore Bible studies.  Five days of workbook study.  One long tape.  Not a lot of time to share in Bible class, I don’t think.

But I am hungry, and as I listen to the opening tape, I hear the goals, and they are what I need:

–to encounter God’s perfection against the backdrop of our own poverty (I do, at this moment, feel impoverished)

–to encounter and acknowledge the reliability of God’s Word.  I know He is reliable. But He takes so long!

–to further develop an honest relationship with God.  Have I been honest?  How can I be when I cannot even speak all that is on my heart?

I don’t know that this is what I need, but I know I need something.  I am ready for this study.  Ready.

When we leave church, the hubby chuckles.

“What was I supposed to do?” I say.  “How could I tell her no?”

He smiles.  He recognizes, as I do, that some things, some people, are sent by God and you just don’t question.  You follow.  You get shanghaied.

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2 Responses to “Shanghaied”


  1. 1 Melissa January 4, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Usually, I find it is the shanghaied moments that are the most timely and bring more and deeper revelation. You guys have been on my heart and in my prayers since we saw you at Christmas time. I hope this Bible study brings you hope, encouragement and into a deeper relationship with Christ. Love Ya, Melissa


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