(Read the blog: "It's Not in Braille" for a little historical perspective - if you haven't already.)
I stood at my usher post dressed in my normal uniform handing out bulletins to the early worshippers. They each received a cheery greeting and a warm compliment. Several excited children ran in and out of the sanctuary over and over again. Each child seemed genuinely happy to be within the 214 year old church with its heavy wooden doors, carpet that covers the middle and side aisles, shiny pews and an organ that seemed to belong in a cathedral.
During the next several minutes, more members began to filter into the sanctuary. They each had engaged themselves in hushed conversations. Meanwhile, becoming slightly annoyed at the children running in and out of the sanctuary; I found myself breathing more heavily. Thankfully, my increased breathing was pleasantly interrupted by the arrival of Mrs. Davis, one of our senior church members.
"Good Morning, may I have two bulletins, please?" asked Mrs. Davis.
"Good Morning, young lady. Two bulletins? I repeated.
She replied, "Yes. Two. I need an extra one for a friend of mine."
"Ok. I thought you needed one for each eye," I offered, as I fulfilled her request.
After a good laugh at our conversation, Mrs. Davis and I now have a regular Sunday joke.
Suddenly, one of the running children, Micah, fell face down in front of me with his head missing the heavy wooden door by a matter of a few inches. He is about six years old and much smaller in frame and shorter than the rest of his friends.
In a state of shock, I shouted, "Get up! Get your little romp up! Get over there and sit in that pew, and you better not move until church is over! I mean it!" (Well, I didn't use the word, "romp;" but, you get the idea.)
Micah sat in the pew and huffed and puffed at me. His brows grew closer together as his eyes became narrow. He reminded me of the Big Bad Wolf from the fairy tale, "The Three Little Pigs." I was shaking from fear in my loafers - not really. I began to wonder if he tripped over my brand new pair of loafers. I'm just not sure. Anyway, Micah sat in that shiny pew for the duration of the service - huffing and puffing. If he could have blown the church down - I'm sure he would have.
Let's fast forward to a few years later - So, Micah decided to give his life to Christ through baptism. He stood next to the pastor near the organ and was formally introduced to the congregation. Micah glared and huffed at me once more. I nodded my head in the affirmative and gave him a slight smile. I hope he understood that I approved of his committment. However, I couldn't help but wonder if the baptism pool would boil over during his immersion or would it explode?
Nevertheless, I knew that I would have to help clean up the disaster after Micah's immersion. It would require moving, pushing, and pulling stuff until everything is dry, clean, neat and in order. Today, I think Micah and I are now pretty good friends. He calls me, "Mr. Charles." Go figure. I can only imagine what he used to call me.
And, speaking of pushing, pulling and moving stuff, that reminds me of Mom and her activities at the YMCA. I'll share that during my next post. (She doesn't want me talking about her on the Internet. So, don't tell her.)