I don't want to be Dana Carvey's SNL character The Church Lady. I am 53, and each morning I peer into the mirror to see what grand changes have occurred, overnight, to my face. I slip out of my jammers, and into my day clothes, allthewhile witnessing the changes that are occurring, overnight, I tell you, to my body.
What happened to Ah, Sweet Youth?
Well. There is another chapter to this middle-age nonsense. My church service mental well-being.
Let's just get this out of the way right here: I am a meditator. One who meditates. The Bible says, "Be still, and know that I am God." And I take that admonishment with more attention than that of a mustard seed. When I go into the sanctuary, it is to meditate and worship. Pray, and sing praises. Listen to what will hopefully be a good, thought-provoking sermon - one which will stay with me through the week. (I know, I know: that's difficult for a pastor to address hundreds of mindsets and STILL knock off a sermon worthy of a week's-worth of provoking thoughts.)
This week, that Spouse o' Mine and I arrived at church and headed into the middle of a pew for worship. (Because that's what you do, you all: YOU GO INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE PEW SO THAT LATECOMERS DON'T HAVE TO CLIMB AWKWARDLY OVER YOU DURING PRAYERS.)
Shortly thereafter, a father and his son came into the pew in front of us. Cute toddler kid. Father looks oldish: second marriage? Whatever. But the toddler kid and his oldish father don't know how to whisper.
My mother taught me this gem, when I was a young mother: A baby, a toddler, has to be taught how to whisper. My method (probably my Mom's, too) was to put my finger up to the tyke's lips, not unlike blowing a candle out, and whispering, "whisper, whisper, whisper." Again and again. And again. At some point, your kid will whisper.
OK. Kid in front is not whispering. And now there is a man directly behind us, using his cell phone. IN THE SANCTUARY. Really. I don't think anyone, anywhere, needs to be told to NOT talk on your phone in a church sanctuary.
Happily, two pews in front of us is a young husband and wife, with a wee son in tow. What a beautiful picture. The Dad is proud of his son (?18 months?), and the mother is dutiful to the son's concerns and noise. The son begins making noise partway through the service. His mother puts her finger to his mouth. And he responds with quiet. Maybe three times, I see mother and son go through this. He is a happy boy. Should I also say that he has Down Syndrome? No. He is a happy boy, with happy parents, neither of whom are on phones, and he is already being taught how to behave in the sanctuary.
I sound like The Church Lady.