Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hell Hath No Fury ...

OK, the title has nothing to do with the actual post. But, I am going down the religion road and well, "hell" seemed appropriate. I'm rambling, I know.

Moving on. I went to church last week. I know, I know. You are shocked. I was too. I will admit that I went for a memorial service, not because I was seeking the good Lord. Baby steps people, baby steps.

I've written before about being ex-communicated from the Catholic Church. It is kind of hard to buy that whole forgiveness thing when the church as an entity won't forgive a divorce. But, I'm not bitter.

Anyway, Church is a big deal down here in the South. When I was interviewing for jobs, the first (yes, the FIRST) question I was asked by someone was, "what church will you attend"? I was struck by the odd question and couldn't believe that someone thought this was the most important detail I needed to attend to. My focus was on a place to live, maybe a job. Silly me.

Since that first question, I have been asked a number of times to attend church with some Southern folks I have met. And while I always turn them down (can't teach an old dog new tricks), I am always honored by the request. They respect me and are trying to bring me into their fold and that is a nice gesture.

When I entered Church of the Cross last week for the memorial service, I grabbed a seat next to a friend who said, "should I be worried that lightning is going to strike"? Clearly, he knows my position. But, I didn't embarrass him and in fact, I was proud of myself for remembering all of the words to the Apostle's Creed. I haven't uttered that prayer since my confirmation in 1980-something. I guess that Catholic guilt is good for something.

Religion is a touchy subject. And unless you are discussing it with someone who is on the same page as you, it can get heated. I recently had a conversation with a friend about the topic and I think it was the first time I truly felt like someone understood what my position was.

I don't think you have to go to church to be religious or spiritual. In fact, I give thanks every weekend when I am on May River breathing in the fresh air. And when I cut fresh flowers or herbs from my yard. And feel my niece's head on my shoulder. And can walk just five doors down to see my Mom. I have a good life and I am grateful. But, I haven't quite figured out who I should be thanking ... other than myself.