Monday, August 07, 2006

The rewards of going to church

Yesterday I found there are rewards to going to church, not just heavenly rewards but earthly ones too!

Sunday was the third time in a row that I've gone to church. I almost didn't go, I hadn't walked to the nearby gas station to get the Sunday paper and I was afraid the papers would be sold out by the time I got back. And I had gotten up very early but had been doing things around the house so the time had gotten away from me. Nevertheless I decided at the last moment to go and barely made it there on time. They were singing the first song when I sat down in the pew. It was an interesting service. They had a visiting missionary priest from South America speaking instead of the regular priest. He was very very old and difficult to understand. I missed the first paragraph or so of his talk but got used to his voice and was pleasantly surprised by his subject.

His talk was about poverty, which was no surprise. But instead of going into how poor the children of his missionary area were (and how much they needed our support--a typical missionary talk) he went into how much poverty there is here in the United States. He mentioned how we send our missionaries and foreign aid to help others but despise our own poor people. It was a very interesting talk and I was charmed by his intelligent and modest manner.

At the end of the service I received a tap on the shoulder from the people behind me. They asked me if I was (real name)! They, upon closer scrutiny were familiar too, they were the children of my Mom's best friend! We had grown up like cousins. I didn't even know my real cousins but this family came out to see us almost every week in the summertime, and in the winter we often came into town to see them. The last time I'd seen them was at their mother's funeral, many years ago. We had exchanged phone numbers on little bits of paper and promptly lost them.

"Would you like to meet Father John?" they asked. And I suddenly remembered that their uncle was a priest, and had served most of his life in Argentina. He was the missionary we'd been listening to, but I'd missed the introduction and his name because I couldn't understand his speech at first.

So I got to meet Father John, a very sweet man. In fact we all first went to the house where the family grew up, now owned by one of the daughters and her husband. It was familiar to me, I remembered playing there as a child. They decided to go out to eat and invited me along too, I called my Mom, went to pick her up and joined them in a restaurant I've never been in before.

It was a pleasant afternoon and my Mom was thrilled and so was I to catch up on "family" news. Their Mom was my Mom's best friend. They had always planned a happy retirement together of traveling and having fun. It was not to be, as their Mom died of skin cancer soon after they retired. I went to visit her in the hospital shortly before--and it was a sight I will never forget--that strong healthy woman weighed 80 pounds and had no nose or ears. She didn't even look human, but like an alien or something. I was grateful for the mask I had to wear to come into her room, it hid my reaction at seeing her like that. My Mom was out of town and wasn't able to come and see her, that was fortunate. She had military honors at her funeral as she had served in the navy before she knew my Mom.

So this family were like cousins to us, as we lived very isolated out in the country. We swapped stories at the restaurant table and did a lot of laughing. After that we went back to their house for dessert (my Mom wanted to see the house). It took up the entire day in a pleasant manner but I didn't get stuff done at home! I had to water the garden, do the garbage, grocery shop and a few other things last night--like prepare my suit for the interview. I had planned to shop around to use if I could find anything better or get some new shoes, but there was no time. All the shops were closed on Sunday before we were done socializing. Oh well. If it's meant to be, it will happen. I did look at interview questions (finally!) this morning and will be thinking of true, but positive answers during the day!


Blogger Dale said...

God is everywhere, PB. Sounds like you had a fantastic day reconnecting with old friends.
Good luck with the interview. My fingers are crossed for you!

7:58 AM  
Blogger katie said...

Interesting where you reconnect with people, isn't it? I'm sure you will rock the interview, no worries!

10:34 AM  
Blogger Ms Mac said...

How very cool! It's a bit like when I go to church with Mum at Christmas, I see loads of folks I know there but don't see through the year!

12:27 PM  
Blogger Magpie said...

sounds like you had a great time reminiscing...isn't it great bumping into people you like (i always seem to meet people who hated me at high

hope you interview goes well...everything is still crossed


12:38 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It's neat how we can seem to pick up with those old, lost friends.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Denny Shane said...

Great story! and I am confident the interview will breeze by for you! ;)

5:53 PM  
Blogger LucyMama said...

got my fingers crossed to.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Lorna said...

Do well on the interview. You've been building up the good karma.

2:58 AM  
Blogger sumo said...

That was a great story...I'm sure it was very nice for you. Can't wait to hear about the interview.

3:49 AM  
Blogger deni said...

I know you will do awesome on the interview!!!

12:30 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

PBS what an absolutely beautiful post. You must have been thrilled, i would have loved to hear Father John speak. What a wonderful Sunday you had!

4:31 PM  

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