Sunday, May 29, 2011

Today I Became Southern Baptist

One week ago today...all hell broke loose.

My morning began with the familiar machinations of a Sunday morning...hit the alarm 17 times until exactly 45 minutes before church. Only this alarm buzzer competed with chain saws and bulldozers. I shuffled to the shower...and washed and conditioned my hair twice. I'd like to blame my malfunctioning short term memory on recent events, but wasn't the first time. I skipped mascara this morning because I find wearing mascara these days is a completely wasted effort. And then...a silent drive through a wasteland...where mattresses are wrapped around trees and cars are piled like Lincoln Logs.

As I sat in that sanctuary surrounded by a hundred or more believers...something happened to me. Something miraculous. My body began to hands began to wave. My head fell back as tears started streaming down my face. Words like "amen" and "Jesus" came out of my mouth...I started "mmmhmming" and "yes-ing" everything that the pastor said. My body took over in worship...seemingly without my permission. It's not that uncommon for me to raise my hand or shed a tear during really good worship, but I think I've always maintained some shred of control over my body and heart. Heh...not today. Today I turned into a 70 year old black woman in a Southern Baptist Church. Today I gave myself to my Abba in reckless abandon...without thought or intention. Today the grief inside me turned to rejoicing...because for the first time in my 34 years, gratitude literally poured out of every fiber of my being. And what's more? I wasn't alone. When I looked around the sanctuary this morning...I saw the first sparks of revival. Believers are glowing with the Light of Jesus in Joplin, Missouri...and all I have to say about that is...mmmhmm...yes, Jesus...and Amen.

Later in the afternoon, President Obama toured our ruins...and at 6:00 (the exact time the Tornado touched down) the nation recognized a moment of silence in honor of the fallen. I was sifting through my garage full of dirty, soggy treasures pulled from the rubble of a friend's house. They were coming to look through their only remaining possessions for the first time...and I had this insane need to "stage" their belongings in neat and orderly piles. Granted, I did all this, I totally think it still counts. Steve and Aliene were overjoyed with some of the recovered family keepsakes...and the cortizone cream. I'll tell their story soon...keep reading.

So, what did I learn on this somber, grief-striken anniversary? Well, one week ago today all hell broke loose...and now we have a clearer view of heaven. Mmmhmm...yes, Jesus...and Amen.

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