On this past Sunday, I published a post entitled Blessed? Very! Happy? Ehhhh, Maybe Not So Much!
The article ran on Rapture Ready on Monday morning, as well. I got quite a number of e-mails from people saying “thank you for putting into words how I feel” Many expressed also feeling like they were alone in their eager anticipation of the gathering-together of the sainst to go home. I remember when Jim Fletcher wrote an article once that similarly resonated with me, (which he gave permission for me to post, you can read it HERE
with a Part II HERE
), and as also did ”Shades of Gray
“ by Donna Wasson, who is by the way, another of my favorite bloggers.
In the article I also talked about being grieved over the state of this world, and the church. But I also commented on the importance of churches exercising caution and not becoming legalistic in the expectations they set forth, citing the frequency of church services per week as an example. The point for me on that subject, being my chronic illness and fatigue requires that I be very selective and flexible in what I take on and try to do (and not that it is somehow bad or unreasonable for churches to meet Sunday a.m, p.m. and Wed. p.m.)
Well, the following e-mail from one dear lady, sure put some things in perspective. I asked her permission to share it with you all. What a good sport she is!
I am 70 years (not just older’n dirt–older than some rocks!)
Therefore, I can truly emphasize with the feelings you expressed in today’s Rapture Ready article.
When a preacher insists on starting his sermon at a small amble but immediately hitting me with a 90-mile-an-hour tail-wind and expecting me to shout, clap my hands, and half rise off the pew in agreement and response–I find it difficult to respond in like manner to his effort.
Now, before you suspect me for an old prude, let me warn you right off the bat that I am a proud member of a local church which is still recognized as Pentecostal and have attended like-minded churches since I was a preschooler.
Such churches have a reputation for spirit lifting hand clapping music accompanied by just about any and all musical instruments you can name; and ministers find the need to speak softly a rare occasion,…..say to get the congregation’s attention…or to wipe his brow, take a deep breath and rest his elbows on the pulpit, where a whisper will have most of his listeners leaning forward to catch the wispy sound of his serious, though hoarse thoughts. If this old sister happens to be in that congregation, she’s hoping we’ve come to the place for a quiet altar call with soft piano or organ music.
I wish I were exaggerating. I love Sunday School. I’m up in plenty of time on Sunday morning for a light breakfast, prepare myself and my clothes, arrange my hair and sit down for a moment with my little dog Suzy Q while I glance over my lesson again. I pile my book, Bible, and notepad in the basket of my rolling walker. I hang my small two-hour capacity oxygen bottle with tubing and canula on one handle of my walker and place my purse strap on the other. I manage to push the walker out the front door without Suzy escaping, down the ramp, across the sidewalk to my van where I unload my walker (by this time I’m breathing heavily) and I clumsily try to hold the walker in a folded position while I lift it into the second set of seats…..I hurried shut the door, twist myself into the driver’s seat and try to rearrange myself, get my oxygen bottle in position so I can strap the canula on and breathe and breathe and breathe, turn the key and point the van in the right direction. A few miles down Interstate 30 I turn into my church parking area. I’m finally breathing somewhat normally. I look around, hopeful to find a strong gentleman to aid me in removing my walker, et al. Odds are about 20% that I’ll luck out here. At the entrance, though, someone opens the door, and another dear saint opens the door into the auditorium. I move up the aisle to about the fourth seat from the front, unload my paraphernalia (that word shows you how old I am…and feel…) Those in the adult class who’ve arrived by now get up, make a circle, take prayer requests and speak to our Heavenly Father, each speaking quietly in our own way. As we finish, someone starts to clap (a praise to the Lord) and all of us join in. Our teacher call us to start Sunday School;we go to our seats and for about 45 minutes we study God’s Word.
When class is over, it takes about 20 minutes or so for a bathroom break and for other classes to file in, I could go on and on, but after preliminaries, special music, sermon, and sometimes an altar call, our service concludes sometime between 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm or so. Many of the church attendees go out to eat on Sunday for lunch. Some kind gentleman usually helps me load up my van again. I’ve used up all of my oxygen while at church; and my oxygen level is dropping. I feel faint. The top of my head is stinging. I shouldn’t be driving, I know, but I drive through town with my air condition vents wide open aimed at my face.
At home, I don’t try to unload anything. I unlock the door, pat Suzy on the head and head for my bed. Kicking off my shoes, I fall into the bed, having used my last bit of strength. I reach over to my home oxygen, move the gauge up to three liters, turn it on and suck in the air like a drowning person.
A neighbor comes in to check on me. I don’t feel like eating; I’m nauseous. I lie there for over an hour before changing into a gown and robe. No. I can’t make it to church at night. Should I feel guilty? I don’t. I love my Lord. I love the church. I try to be a light to all with whom I come in contact with. I don’t make mid-week night service either. I used to rarely miss a service. Now, I keep a conversation going with my Lord all the time. I know He cares and understands. If others don’t, that’s sad. –Barbara Bliss
What a precious saint! She lives up to her lovely name; Barbara Bliss! I absolutely love spending time with “seasoned citizens” who have lived a lot of years and accumulated a lot of wisdim along the way. They are a treasure-trove.
If you read something on my blog and feel compelled to get in touch, I want to remind everyone that I do have a “Contact” form at the top of my blog-stream below the blog header. I know the comment tool is a hassle for anyone who isn’t a WordPress member, though if you read a lot on WordPress, or even one blog, and would like to comment, I’d also like to let you know that you don’t have to have a blog to have a WordPress account. You can be a “reader” with an account. Anyhoo! I’d love to hear from you! If you are a writer on topics similar to what I cover (which is a wide range, if you go back through my archives and explore my tabs/pages) or you just have valuable insight to contribute, and if you think you might like to share, contact me through the blog and let me know, and ESPECIALLY if you are a “seasoned citizen” over 65 or so. Do NOT worry about form, spelling, grammar and the like. Just write it as you would a letter. That is my style and I find people are drawn to that.