Okay, let’s be honest. Upon meeting and getting to know certain members of their church some pastors question the existence of a benevolent God.
Not me, of course. I am speaking only of what I’ve heard in professional circles.
So, with that fact in mind, I hate to say this because I think there might be some divine tally sheet keeper who might read this, notice I probably have an inordinant number of wonderful church members, and undertake an effort to change that fact.
Please, please don’t. Please. Some of us need all the help we can get.
Let me introduce you to church member Marilyn Edwards. Marilyn is unfailingly cheerful, totally discreet, generously gracious. She volunteers one day a week in the office and pretty much does an entire week’s worth of secretarial work in one day. She is a fabulous deacon, organizes coffee hour and jumps in to volunteer at the after school program when needed.
Plus, she always agrees with my opinions (at least to my face).
Lest you get the impression that she is one of those churchy people I should also add here that she has a wicked and highly irreverent sense of humor. I love people like that. I especially love church members like that.
But here’s the real clincher: Marilyn sews. There are many ways I feel sure that God exists. This one in particular makes me think God is really, really good. (And also that I am really, really lucky.)
After I found out that Marilyn could sew (fabulously) I got to thinking that it would be really great to have vestments on the altar and two pulpits at the front of the church. You can buy such things, of course, but the ones available for purchase are generally expensive and, well, (how can I say this tactfully?) rather standard in their appearance.
So this is how a conversation with Marilyn about the creation of vestments for the pulpits and altar goes:
Me (sadly): “It is really too bad that we don’t have vestments for the sanctuary to help emphasize the theme of [insert liturgical season here].”
Marilyn (with sincere curiosity): “Well, what do you have in mind?”Me (frantically searching for any artistic or sewing terms in conscious memory): “Oh, you know, something about light. It should be green. Kind of shiny, you know? And hang. They should definitely hang. Down.”
Marilyn (smiling politely): “Could you be a little more specific?”
I then take up pen and paper and produce the following (ably illustrating a complete and total lack of artistic skill):
Marilyn (suppressing laughter): “Wow! How beautiful! I think I might be able to come up with something using your ideas (snicker, snicker).”
Me (helpfully): “Don’t worry, I think I have about $10.00 in my discretionary fund . . . you are free to use as much of it as you need. And, I don’t need these until Sunday, you know.”
And here is when the miracle happens. Marilyn goes home, say, Tuesday, and we all come back Sunday morning.
Yup. This is pretty much how I know God exists today. Not so much that there is this wonderful, incredible, talented woman in my congregation coming up with all sorts of inspirational focal points for worship (you should have seen what she did with a pair of old curtains for Advent!).
But that, after creating such beautiful pieces with little or nothing to work with, Marilyn is still speaking to me.
Just more compelling evidence to consider.
Thanks, Marilyn, for the reminder. And the beautiful vestments.