Reformed Grits

“Slow and steady wins the race” or “How did we get here?” part deux
May 3, 2008, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Our Call

So, I’m trying to tell the story of how my beloved and I were dragged kicking and screaming called to full-time ministry.  Without falling asleep each time.  This portion explains how we got "stuck" in a presbyterian church.  It’s important.  Trust me.  For the first installment, go here

We pulled in to the parking lot of that Presbyterian church and took a deep breath.  "Here we go!" one of us said, not sure if it was he or me.  If only we had known that our lives would forever be changed.

We went inside the small church on the hill and were warmly greeted as if we were the first new faces that had ever graced the door.  (We weren’t.)  Our friends met us immediately and began to introduce us around as "the young couple I told you about."  We had been expected.  There were probably 50 people there at the most if I recall correctly.  That would make about 1/5 of the population of that Sunday meeting the family we were invited by, as they were a family of 11.  (Granted, one was grown and married– my former roommate– so 10 were there.) 

The service was about to begin, so we began looking for our "back row Baptist" seats.  To be sure, they were empty.  No one sat on the back row here.  Our friends sat on The Front Row.  "Oh, you’ve filled up the pew.  We’ll just sit behind you."  (Whew, that was close.)  With a critical eye, ready to judge why this church was The Wrong One, we held our bulletins and began scouring it for flaws, mostly looking at the order of worship for the morning.  Hm.  Nothing weird there.   We sang familiar hymns and nothing was– wrong.  We began to relax and actually enjoy the service. 

As the young-but-gray-headed pastor began to speak, we both listened intently, occasionally jabbing each other discretely, the squeezing each other’s hands at different intervals.  Not because we were shocked or disgusted by the message.  But because we were floored.  We were amazed.  We were challenged.  Yet there was no point of contention with our firmly-set system of beliefs.  They didn’t try to tell us that you had to be sprinkled.  The sermon wasn’t about predestination.  It was just about… The Bible.  And we actually used it.  For the first time as adults, we sat in a service where we opened our Bibles and flipped constantly to passage after passage in a quick pace to chase the pastor who was preaching The Word.  This was no sentimental, topical sermon meant to challenge us and charge our batteries for the week.  This was a totally different ballgame. 

At the closing prayer, the benediction, Mr. Grits and I squeezed each other’s hands, as if to tell each other, "Welcome Home." 

To be continued…