Sunday, November 4, 2007

Wasp Attends Church

Today in our church service, All Saints Day was observed. Glancing at the list of hymns in the bulletin, I was dismayed to see that I would have to somehow survive singing two hymns that always bring me to tears. "For All the Saints" and "Behold a Host Arrayed in White". During verses 4, 5, and 6 of the first one the tears started flowing and I had to stop singing to avoid making blubbering sounds which might cause my pew neighbors to think I was sinking into another nervous breakdown.

During the sermon, the pastor droned on, reiterating the power of the rituals of Baptism, Absolution, and Communion. About halfway through his message, my eyes closed-----don't worry, I was still listening, but also praying. My reverie was broken by the sudden crying of the baby in an infant seat next to me. I opened my eyes to see a wasp hovering near the baby. I swiped it away and it swooped into a pew where several little girls were sitting. A woman batted at it with a bulletin. Then the wasp landed on the edge of the pew one row ahead of us. It walked slowly along the top of the pew's back.......I wished the man ahead of us would slap it to get rid of it, but he didn't. Then a ladybug landed a few inches from the wasp. They walked towards each other, stopping seemingly to exchange insect greetings, and then they flew away in opposite directions. By then I was laughing, in silence, of course; it lightened my mood enough to get me through the post-sermon hymn, "Behold a Host Arrayed in White", with no tears. Hooray!

Maybe my sappy emotionalism is a midlife thing. There's not much I can do about the feelings that come during certain hymns. I'm a poor Lutheran.....they're not supposed to have feelings in church. I've tried to ignore the hymn words and think about something else, but it never works. Today, maybe an angel of tearlessness took pity and sent the wasp and ladybug to my rescue!

No comments: