We went to church today. Yesterday, I made up my mind that we would, and we did. Just like that. Earlier in the week #4 asked me why we didn’t go to church, and I asked him if he wanted to, and he said “of course!”. Well, what do you say to that? Do you say “Hell no! We’re not going to church because I want you to be an unschooled heathen!” Or do you say “Church is for people too ignorant to figure out God for themselves.”? That would be incredibly condescending, wouldn’t it. This morning he asked if we could go to Sunday School. I told him one step at a time.
My issues with church isn’t religious. I like religion. I like the comfort and joy of corporate worship, of saying the Apostles Creed and Lord’s Prayer, of singing the Doxology with 100 other people and listening to the choir. I like the organ and piano, Children’s Church, and the 20 minute sermon (today is was about every member of the Body of Christ being important, like in the human body, the foot isn’t more important than the hand, or the eye more than the ear, and all the differences work together to make a functioning unit), and the long and complicated AAAAMmmmEN by the choir at the end. There’s comfort in familiar liturgy, and it really does bring me in toward a closer relationship with God and His people.
The problem I have with church is purely human. It’s the little niggly details. It’s the woman who sits right in front of me with enough perfume on to set off a pair of migraines in Terry and me, and to get #4 to wheezing. It’s the voluptuous young woman wearing what looks like her mother’s underslip as a dress, and she’s a foot taller than her mother so it barely covers her hoo-ha. (Actually didn’t see that today. The young women I saw today were dressed in a Rootie Approved Manner) There was, however, an abundance of perfume, and headaches, and thank goodness I took a crumb of xanax first because there was a wee attack of the nerves right at the start.
If I had a church, I’d put a notice in the bulletin and the weekly thing, asking people to refrain from wearing perfume to church, due to allergies in some of the congregation. There isn’t a safe place to sit. If you get there early enough, you can sort of pick a spot, maybe at the back so there’s no one behind you, or in the front so there’s no one ahead, but you can’t pick who’s near, and to get up and move is, well…kind of rude. And I am loathe to tap someone on the shoulder and say “I’m sorry, we’re moving because your perfume is going to put me in the hospital.” What REALLY sucks is when you get people in front, next to, and behind, all wearing perfume, none of which match.
My ideal sanctuary would be just that, A Sanctuary. A Safe Place. Made of boothes that hold a few people, with walls and plexiglass and maybe even each with it’s own HVAC system.
There are the contemporary churches, the ones that advertise that you can ‘come as you are’ in jeans, or whatever, and I wonder if the perfume issue would be less there. The problem is, I don’t like contemporary worship styles. I like the Old Liturgy. I don’t care for Power Point Presentations with the sermon, or some kind of visualisation software things with the music. I don’t need to be entertained when I’m at church. I need to WORSHIP. Without PERFUME. I want a traditional style service where I can wear jeans and a t-shirt, where we sing the old hymns and the old ladies don’t dunk themselves in White Shoulders as they step out of their cars. Is that too much to ask?
I realize there are people in the world who don’t feel dressed unless they have on makeup and perfume. I truly get that. I suppose I feel the same way, not feeling dressed unless I have on clothes. It’s just that perfume is more than clothes, it is an environmental interference to everyone around them. It does not make a person more attractive, or boost their boobs or change the shape of their legs the way high heels would do. It reaches out and grabs everyone around them by the neck, and gives a damn hard slap on the face. My philosophy on perfume is that one shouldn’t smell it unless one has one’s face right up in the neck or bosom of that person. It should be as a beautiful set of silk underwear, unknown to everyone around except the person it’s intended for. I feel that way about men’s and women’s perfume the same.