02 March 2016

doxology and dichotomy: whiskey in church

as i write, i have a sick kid in bed with me and am listening to my latest crush, the newsroom. it's streaming on netflix. check it out. and since i am like 4 years late to every party, it's so much fun watching the last election with as much excitement as if i wasn't there the first time. 

talking about my latest online crush {more tele less otherwise}, had me thinking about last sunday and last sunday reminded me of church and church reminded me of my most favorite childhood story. and well a favorite childhood story begs to be told so here goes...

i grew up in a small town in tennessee. to keep the story short, i'll just say my family found our way into a rather large baptist church where we warmed the pews every sunday for a good 4ish years. 

i loved this church. i loved the pastor. so much so that i found myself sitting with this precious man every sunday. what the heehaw i was thinking i do not know. but every sunday i would make my 10 year old self to the FRONT row where I WOULD SIT BY MYSELF with the pastor. i write that in all caps for dramatic effect. now i may have been accompanied by my friend kim, but for the sake of argument, let's pretend i was doing this all on my own, because let's face it that's how i rolled.
Speaking of how I roll, Zoe from Nurse Jackie cause she's pretty much all that and pink track suit. 

well, part of the story that needs mentioning was this. i was the youngest of 5 children. i was the youngest by like a lot. that needs to be stated because i had a much older brother who liked to partake in the crown royal. and his pesky littlest sister thought that the purple bag the crown royal came in was damn near, well royal. like "something a princess would carry". do you know where this story is headed? yeah. 

so after the bottle of the crown royal was enjoyed {or maybe to shush the littlest sister}, my brother gave me, the littlest, the said legendary bag that once came with the bottle of whiskey. and you know what i did with it? 

well, i used it as a pocketbook like any self respecting, {ignorant} southern baptist girl would do. i would carefully tuck my bible with my name emblazoned in gold, a myriad of highlighters, as well as a fresh pack of velamints and my tithe money in that purple velvet tote with the gold embroidery. and then i would march down the aisle. all.the.way.to.the.front. of the church where i would take my place on the front row, beside the pastor. of the baptist church. with my contraband accessory. only, and this is the greatest part, i had no clue anything i was doing was at all worthy of speculative banter. like, o, i don't know, "where did that little girl get THAT bag?" {my brother} or "what kind of family drinks whiskey?" {MINE} or "does she not know that this is the house of the Lord?" {yes, and...} so i share this most favorite childhood story with you because it is pretty much still who i am 35 years later. it was what those in the literary world would call a foreshadowing. 

i am still that little girl sitting very reverently {and irreverently} on the front row of a church. the only difference is now i am sitting with boys, not a pastor.

i am the mother of boys who can pull the biggest pranks whilst enjoying the view from the front of church. and you know what? for the most part, i just let it go. 

when one of my boys brings his soccer ball and tries to volley during the sermon, i admonish him for reasons of safety-mostly. when another wishes to sit and chat with his friend the entire time, i quiet him with a "it's rude to talk while someone else is speaking". and when another pulls out a snack of a hotdog and proceeds to enjoy the snack whilst sitting up front-well, i say, "this is NOT a baseball game. cool it with the snacks". and throw in, "you're making everyone else hungry".
Passing notes in church cause goodness, quiet down already!

my point is my poor parents had to watch in horror as i walked down the center aisle every sunday in a small town baptist church toting our family secret which as it turns out wasn't the biggest family secret we had. and i am here to shout, "if you can't let your secrets slip out in church, then where can you?" or that's the way it should be. and that's the way it is where i sit.

to be fair, i am sure this crown royal situation happened exactly one time before my panicked mother and father took away my pretty, little purse and replaced it with something, ahem, more appropriate. but baby, i will always have my crown royal bag at church-and if you know me, you know what i am saying, right? cause i am a little rowdy like that. kid on the front row and all. 

so here i am rambling about whiskey in church. and yeah, that's about right. that's how i see it. children in church. acting up and acting just about perfect cause let's face it when i see kids at my church running around or dancing up front or crying out LOUD or singing the doxology at the top of their lungs, i can't help but feel like THIS is what jesus meant and means for all of us. whiskey in church. irreverent plays nicely with the reverent cause we are all both. hopeful and hopeless. doxology and dichotomy. and hopefully letting our secrets slip out in the best ways. 


Okay so this was a wedding reception, but you see what I mean, right?