On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.” -Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk
A discussion during my lay ministry meeting tonight made me remember this incident from the past weekend:
It was Sunday morning, and I was on my way out the door, alb in hand, to go to church to assist. Visiting Semi-Son-In-Law -- a non-churchgoer who respects Fellow Traveler's and my faith and involvement in our faith community but who doesn't really understand it and at times even seems a little afraid of it -- saw us to our vehicle. I could tell that he was struggling to find some appropriate comment with which to send us off.
"Well...you two have a good service," he finally said. Turning to me, he added, "and... be careful."
I chuckled all the way to church. But he has a point.