Thursday, May 07, 2009

There was a fresh face this morning; she greeted me in the parking lot and I recognized her as new. That is, I didn't recognize her, so I knew she was new.

And we sort of sat next to each other in the back row, my favorite spot, not to be aloof but to look straight on rather than turning sideways. I noticed she didn't have study materials so obviously she hadn't done her homework. Consequently she was very quiet as we discussing the first four, no rather, first seven chapters of Matthew. Whew, quite a chunk of text but this is just the beginning, just taking an overview. We'll look in detail in the coming weeks. I was, however, frustrated that we didn't get down to the nitty-gritty today. Learning to be patient.

Now, the video isn't anywhere near an hour in length. Filmed on location, the videos run about 25 minutes. Our leader is happy to get out early so she doesn't have to rush to work. I don't mind it either, actually because lately I've been going to the bank on Thursdays to pay my housekeeper in cash (per her request!) So I make the extra side trip rather than run the risk of the money burning a hole in my pocket.

After an hour discussion, we took our customary five-minute break (though I suggested a leisurely 15-minute one!) and the new person waited at the door because she needed some guidance finding the refreshments. I escorted her down to the youth hall or chapel, whatever they call it, where another group of women were laughing their heads off at with Beth Moore or some other person.

I made conversation and asked her whether she attends on Sundays. She said they came from Calvery Chapel in Old Bridge. She and her husband were now attending here; the drive to Old Bridge was just too much. She asked whether I also attend and I said it's too far away, telling her approximately where I live. She said her sister used to live there before moving back to Louisiana last year. And what church do I attend. I told her and quickly filled the uncomfortable silence that followed with an awkward explanation, "Well, there are only two churches in town ... and a synagogue ... and the Presbyterian church has an incredibly small congregation." She said she was sure she could recommend a nearby church to me. So, I look forward to her suggestion, probably next week.

Things ran quick, then, and since it was the National Day of Prayer, I made my way to the sanctuary to see whether I could steal a few minutes for prayer before retrieving Ella from child care. And, unlike in previous years, the sanctuary was dark and the doors were locked. The child care staff said the pastor hadn't mentioned the holiday on Sunday at all and they had personally forgotten all about it. There was some unkind remark about the president not being behind it, so of course, how would anyone else be inspired without his public endorsement. Scapegoat. And I was way too early for the noon Mass at Queenship of Mary ... I mean, to sit there for 40 minutes with Ella before the service ... alone, no problem but, well ... it wouldn't be fair to her. So I just prayed my rosary on the way home. I mean, it's May, after all.

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