We slept in because the morning was cool, the wind blew, the leaves danced and outside five varieties of birds sang, each with their own little chorus. While we were sleeping, snug in our beds, the cats slunk up and down the hall, ending nestled together on the couch. I woke and brewed coffee and read the post and did really, nothing. Elliot woke, of course, all smiles and lovely and was changed and fed and burped and dressed for the day. We were going to church.
Church was fine and there were all sorts of people to meet and talk to, though the crowd in the large auditorium was sparse. The Africans were disbanding from the overflow room where they sit with an interpreter (Swahili), but we were there for second service, no interpreter, empty room.
The service was interesting. The heart strings were pulled on prior to the teaching. That roil of the holy spirit started my eyes to watering early into the first song. The first song we sang and there I stood, tears streaming down my cheeks, baby in one arm. oh gosh.
It had been August since the last church attendance. August. And yes, I had repeatedly said, "You know, Elliot and I will go to church, yes we will". We never did. We sat around the house mornings (or I did), reading magazines, watching CBS Sunday morning on the internet and napping. Sometimes arguing with God about this and that and other things and the "is church attendance really that important?".. I don't know. Is it?
How would I feel about church attendance if, for some reason, the government (or any other body) forbade said attendance? How would my perspective change?
Maybe church attendance isn't important. I watched my grandmother not go to church in her later years and yet her belief, her values, her character remained intact. And yet......
The message today was on spiritual warfare, on praying, on retaining standards and living an open book kind of life (running from sin..everything is found out anyway, etc.). It was a good message taught by a scrappy New Yorker who has lived in the mid-Missouri area with his family for what, thirty years (?) and still retains his borough accent (just like I will always sound mid-western, regardless..unless I become Madonna...or someone else). I appreciated how, in his message, he addressed single people along with the marrieds (something rarely done by many-year-married preacher folk).
Before it was over (and for the first time in forever I really wanted to stay and listen to the end), we had to go. There were other people waiting for Elliot and so, picking him up from Ann B. and the other person, (met once, name forgotten, nice young woman), who were working in the nursery, we packed it all up and hurried home.