Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Sing, sing a song. Sing it loud. Sing it strong ...

Check. I did something on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. I worshipped at a non-Mennonite service on Sunday. Originally, when I made the list, I was thinking along the lines of going to a Siehk temple or some such nonsense…but this was enough of a stretch to qualify.
“What kind of church is this mom?” Drew asked me as we pulled up to the Langley Mall.
“What does that mean?”
“They sing songs we probably won’t know and they stretch them out forever.”

One of my carpool boys was getting baptized, and Max, Drew and I wanted to celebrate with him and his family. It was, as expected, a lively service. Lots of energy and enthusiasm; much jumping and clapping. A happy place to be.

“This song again?” Drew sighed as the worship team started singing the same song for the third time. “Don’t they know any other ones?” I was surprised at his annoyance as I didn’t think he participated in singing at our own church. Regardless, we both survived the experience.

In the evening, I drove down to KFC to get our usual Sunday meal of Big Crunch combos and popcorn chicken. I had the Newsboys worship CD in and was singing along to Blessed Be Your Name with a fair bit of gusto. It wasn’t raining, I knew the words of the song, the interior of the truck smelled like grease and I had just bought a pair of denim capris – everything was right in my world.

And then I got to the corner of 200th and the Bypass.

Have you been there on a Sunday? As luck would have it, I have been on that corner on a Sunday 1/2 dozen times this Spring. And I always see the same thing; a guy. With a sign. And sad eyes. He is perpetually without funds and always hasn’t eaten for days.

Of course I am stopped at the red light. And in case you haven’t timed it – I can tell you it’s a long red. At least 5 minutes of waiting for all the lights in the intersection to have a turn at being green. It feels much longer if you’ve got a bag full of KFC and a great sing-a-long worship song playing while Joe Homeless is inches away from your window giving you a close-up private viewing of his sign that clearly states he is hungry.

I responded in the usual fashion - I pretended my attention was needed elsewhere. Like my glove box. It needed to be looked into right then. With a life or death sense of urgency, I inspected that glove box thoroughly. And promised myself I would NOT do this again. I will have a stack of grocery gift cards on hand for moments like this.

I turned the music off for the rest of the drive home. It seemed hypocritical to praise Him with my voice but not with my hands. I could have given him my meal. My body would not have missed it. What kind of Christian am I? A shitty one. That’s what kind.
Anyway, a few hours later, I was getting Drew settled in his room. As I did the final tuck, he said, “I can hardly wait to go back to our own church.”
“Seven songs. That actually end.”

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