Sunday, August 19, 2007

Out of Body Experience

I love Sundays. One of the reasons is that it is the one day of the week that I actually read most of the paper on the day it arrives. My husband John teases me that I read "USA Yesterday" instead of "USA TODAY." He is right everyday except Sunday. The first thing I do is retrieve the paper from the yard (dressed in who knows what and usually wearing John's shoes because mine are down in the basement near the car). The next step is to pare that monstrous paper down to size. Out with the classifieds, the job market stuff, and all the ads for the stores that we never visit. Our routine is that John gets the funnies and I get the rest. This is sort of the same measurement used for parceling out closet space. It's not that I don't share the paper; he just likes to look at it throughout the day. I fix my decaf Cafe Mocha (using a Starbucks recipe) and peruse everything.

Next we go to church. One of the reasons I love going to church because I love my choir. We stick with each other through thick and thin. It's like having extra brothers and sisters who can tease each other, have some minor tussles, but will defend each other.

Then starts my battle to stay in church. No, I'm not preparing to flee the building; I'm talking about keeping my attention right there in the building. Paying attention to the lush liturgy, enjoying the sermon that Fr. Ray has put together, and loving the lyrics to each piece of music. I have to fight the short attention span that is part of my personality. To combat this I take notes on the sermon and write a prayer list. I don't want any "out of body experiences" where my body is present but my mind has left and gone somewhere else.

Today my prayer list included a dear friend who has a brain tumor. John and I had the joy of spending yesterday with her. She kept thanking us for driving over to see her. But honestly we were the lucky ones. She knows that she doesn't have long, and we were privileged to get a long visit with her and her husband. I told her time and again how much she meant to me and we repeatedly said how much we loved each other. Her husband has been a real saint. He has obviously honored his vows of "in sickness and in health." Great couple, great day, bittersweet day. I guess I wasn't successful in staying in church after all because my mind kept drifting back to my dear friend. I think God would understand. Going to Atlanta was worth it. You have to be present to win. Amen.

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