Writing about “Amazing Moments at Church” there are many memories of moments that flood my mind.
Last week I wrote about that lady who stood up and praised Jesus during the song “How Great Thou Art.” The amazing moment happened because no one else stood with her and the tradition of their church didn’t embrace that type of expression in public worship.
Research is an important part of writing and I’ve interviewed a lot of individuals over the years to gain insight, opinions and information covering a large array of subjects and topics. Meeting and talking with people can be a scary moment for some, and I am guessing those of you that know me are thinking you are not concerned about this being an area I need to work on. Nevertheless meeting people can be a bit awkward even for those of us who are out going and love meeting new people and striking up conversations.
Since I shared my first moment of amazing church experiences in my last column about my recent visit to a Methodist Church, I thought it only fair that I write about an experience I had in an Old Fashioned Southern Baptist Church.
I knew immediately it was an old-fashioned church because throughout the church I could see small pillows or cushions laying on different pews and I knew this meant that someone was used to always sitting in that spot. I also knew in Baptist tradition that meant that you didn’t sit there either.
So I was looking for a spot and I thought I would go against the grain and sit at the front of the church. Another thing that all traditional Baptists know is that no one sits in the front pews. No one normally except maybe a musician who plays the piano, the preacher or a staff member.
The one group we expect to sit up front would be the deacons and they sit there only long enough to take up the offering most of the time. With all that said, I decided I would go sit up front and this would surely guarantee I would not be taking someone’s regular seat.
Now this was going to be an “Amazing Moment at Church” because I sat down on the second pew and within seconds an elderly lady sat down directly behind me in this large church.
Immediately this lady said “hello” and asked how I was doing. My response was that I was great, thanks for asking. Thinking quickly if this would be our only conversation I was wondering if I should ask a question and try to strike up a conversation.
I decided to go to the next level and I did so based solely on the fact she seemed to be so lively in spirit. My mind was spinning with what would be an appropriate question and so I just shot from the hip and said, “I notice there are a lot of seat cushions, you reckon I’m sitting in someone’s reserved seat?”
Immediately she said “sitting up front you will be just fine, and I’ll move if you want to sit where I am.”
Totally amazing considering that most of us don’t like to be inconvenienced especially after we have settled in. Seeing a big smile on her face I thought I would ask if there might be a deacon that would want to pray with me and I prefaced my comment by saying you sure are nice and friendly, what about these mean old deacons around here?
She proceeded to share with me that she was sure the deacons would pray with me, and she began to name deacons that were “mighty fine” deacons. Our conversation grew quickly as she asked about my need for prayer and if I was visiting. To say I was being encouraged is an understatement, I was also excited. Excited to meet someone that seemed to be most genuine and I loved her smiled and her sense of humor too.
This is an “Amazing Moment at Church” without a doubt. If you have ever been a visitor to an unknown church it is amazing how unwelcome you can sometimes feel, but not this experience. Totally welcomed and even prayed for. Until then...