Thursday, June 30, 2016

Crash Helmets and Sunday Mornings

On Sunday, we arrived between services.  Our pastor saw us as we walked from the parking lot and said, "I have your helmets."

I said, "Is it going to be that kind of service?"  And we both smiled.

He had borrowed one of our motorcycle helmets because he needed to take his wife's scooter up to Ft. Lauderdale to sell it, and he wisely didn't want to do so without a helmet--and hers was too small.  It fits me, though, so now we have an extra helmet.

I thought of the Annie Dillard quote about Sunday mornings, and ladies wearing their beautiful hats to church when they should be wearing their helmets.  I thought of her idea that on Sunday mornings, most of us mindlessly invoke the power of God, and most of us have no idea what we're invoking--and I daresay, many of us don't really believe that God listens or responds.

That quote has been on my mind all week, and this morning, I looked it up--how I love the power of the Internet!  The quote is so much better than I remembered:

"On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of the conditions. Does any-one have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies' straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake some day and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return."

Annie Dillard Teaching a Stone to Talk, Harper & Row, 1982

Maybe I'll look for her book and read it this week-end--it sounds like great reading for Independence week-end.

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