Saturday, January 24, 2009
Before I ever knew Him pt. 1
I trot out every now and then to Jeff some stories of my first experiences with religion. We giggle. So I decided to commit them here so I could not forget about them.
When I was growing up, I lived in a cul-de-sac with a couple other girls. They were from Christian families. Mine wasn't really that way so much. Dad drank beer and worked around the yard smoking cigarettes with his shirt off, sweat socks pulled up and bandana around his forehead. We had a big yard and it had no landscaping when we moved in, and over the 15 years we lived there, dad installed basically a small forest in our back yard. It was pretty cool actually, but that was weekends for us alot of the time. My dad, at his heart, was and is a farm boy. A wildly successful farm boy, but that is another story.
Me and Karen and LaVonne played together alot. Karen went to an Assemblies of God church. Karen to this day is one of the sweetest people I can think of. She had a child like wisdom of good behavior and kindness that seemed to be a preternatural part of her character. I thought very highly of her. One day I was over at her house for lunch. Before we could eat, we had to pray. She put her hands together, bowed her head and then in a little bit she stopped and ate her pb and j. I watched this. I thought this was good, like she was.
When I went home that night for supper, as we gathered around the table I announced "We should pray!" My parents looked at me rather quizzically.
"Ok then, pray." I stalled. I had never prayed before I realized at this point, and had no idea what praying really...I just had no idea.
"Ok, well you have to stand up,"
"Because that's how you pray." The family stood up. At this point I am feeling really in trouble because here the same people who usually interrupt me and talk over me at the dinner table are doing what I am telling them to, and I have no clue what I am doing.
"You have to put your hand on your heart"
"What? You do not," says someone.
"Just pray already, I'm hungry," says someone else. So I piously put my hand over my heart and said
"I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America..."
This was the only thing that I knew that was even remotely close to a prayer. My family laughed at me. But laughing at the dinner table was what we did, and so I laughed too.