Saturday, November 9, 2013

Why I Drive an Hour and a Half to Church (c)

Sunday morning, and I have my
breakfast of tea and cantalope,
then scope
the forecast for the weather.
I don't know whether
I should venture go or stay,
but hey,
my Sundays are not complete without church.

I don't know many folks
who drive an hour and a half to church
but really -- what difference does it make?
I take
my time...
being certain that the oil in the car
is topped up.
Then I have another cup
of green tea,
taking one cup for the road.
I leave behind names like
Spring Hope,
Red Oak,
as I listen to Leo Keottke
playing on the car stereo.
and eventually find
myself on the way to Durham.
 God, thank you for this day.

I take
a right
as a tape of
my son plays
from 25 years ago...
"Mama, can I please go play on the slide?"
"You know there's not much pollution here."
"Power Rangers!"
"Let's sing Bingo!"
"There was a man who had a dog,
and Bingo was his name o,
(repeat three times.)

Just then I turn onto 177...
almost heaven...
almost there,
a commitment to share --
truly a great day to be alive
and to come to church.

Stephen is greeter
smiles all around--
hugs abound,
life couldn't be sweeter
there are no strangers here.

On the third of November
 I remember
how the fall colors pop.
I stop
about selling my house,
or surgery...
or what's for dinner.

Today, the third of November,
I remember
other Sundays
like the one when
the Emmanuel Youth Choir
"Mr. Jesus,
rain down on me."
And the sermon that day--
"Don't make it harder than
it has to be."
I remember what Amanda had to say.
"God, let me be singing
at the end of the day."

What is Durham Presbyterian Church?
 According to Franklin, "We are a small group of people
loving each other fiercely....
telling God the truth of who we are...
Finding God in pain and suffering.
It's in the places of suffering
and fear that
we find joy."
  One morning,
as Franklin preached,
Jesus came down
to Durham Presbyterian Church
and walked amongst us.
The air warmed and
we felt the peace,
transformed by the moment.

This morning, Angie is back!
The choir's going to sing.
And what shall I bring?
Maybe a tambourine?
Jenna is here.
Jordan too.
Peace be to you, and to you.
prayers for Pakistan...

for the people--
Anna's ministry,
Justin's brother,
Tomi's mother

Scott and Liz may be moving to Idaho.
Megan goes back to school soon,
Carlos is in a New York hospital.

Durham Presbyterian Church
reaches out,
to one another,
to the community,
to me.
The minister said,
"If there is a church that does not reach out to the marginalized,
then that place is not a church."
This Church
has created a bridge to understanding
and hope.
Right here,
in Durham, North Carolina.

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