In many ways this is tensest time of the week for me, that time just before church when I decide to go, or that I should go or sometimes force myself to go. Some weeks I just don’t go.
No amount of deoderizing will stop the cold sweat I will get from going to church, especially if H___ is leading. It is always that heavy sweat as well.
Why the sweat?
It’s the thought of the people, of the uncomfortable interactions with strangers and the more familiar, the thought of chats afterwards with thos who might say
‘So any joy on the job front?’ or ‘So are you off anywhere nice on holiday?’ etc. etc.
Perhaps it is because I feel extra exposed being married to one of the ministers, the person who has been leading the service and preaching the sermon, the person who is brought into the whole church equation.
Perhaps it is also because church halls are the least uncomfortable, inhospitable spaces I be in each week. The spaces we worship in are all the wrong colours , the seating uncomfortable and too close for someone who likes his own space and feels claustrophobic.
The way I can’t sit beside my wife like most other people who go to church but have to watch her from afar.
My holy friends have become increasingly righteous is saying ‘Well that’s the beauty of the church community, you can’t choose your family members, you have to love those people who you would not naturally gravitate towards…’
but the tense, cotton cutting sweat has little to do with that.
Anyway, I should get ready. The Perfect Space by The Avett Brothers is what comes to mind.
‘I wanna have friends that I can trust,
that love me for the man I’ve become not the man I was.
I wanna have friends that will let me be
all alone when being alone is all that I need.
I wanna fit in to the perfect space,
feel natural and safe in a volatile place.
And I wanna grow old without the pain,
give my body back to the earth and not complain.‘