67. Hallelujah, praise to the elderly

(Westminster Presbyterian Church)

Today I woke up and decided to go to church.  For those of you that know me this is sufficiently random.  I used to go in NYC every once in a while with a friend from college, but I haven’t been to a Presbyterian church in quite some time.  I googled “Presbyterian Churches in Eugene, OR” and The Westminster Presbyterian Church came up first.  I remembered driving by it on Coburg Rd. and actually had always wondered what it was like inside.  That said, I got ready and headed over to the 11 a.m. service.

This is what occurred over the next hour:

1.) I parked my car directly in front of the choir.  They were warming up and I think I may have disturbed them.

2.) I should have noted the white-haired couple walking into the church but figured they wouldn’t be the majority demographic.

3). I was wrong.

4.) Nothing against the older generation but to see almost one hundred people over the age of 75 was kind of daunting.

5.) The sermon was all about remembering your wedding day (random) and to cherish your children.

6.) I am not married.

7.) Nor do I have children.

8.) I sat next to a lovely woman named Georgie.  She immediately asked me where my nametag was and kept pointing to the page we were on during the service so I could keep up.

9.) I instantly felt like her granddaughter trying to gain her approval.

10.)  A little girl gave me a “visitor’s” mug with the church’s picture on it and more info (like their pancake breakfast happening this Tuesday, over 30 board games!)

(Here's the mug!)

11.) The choir (made up of only those with puffy white hair that was perfectly fluffed) sang to some sort of tribal music that apparently the congregation had heard before because they knew exactly when to chime in.

12.) Georgie told me at the end of the service that she hopes to see me again next week.  I smiled and said I would be back and bolted out of my seat.

13.) Only to run into the elderly couple who were painfully making their way out.  I guess there was an order to exiting the church that I was unaware of.

14.) I shook hands with the preacher as I left and told her it was my first time at the church.  She was happy and asked me to return next week.

15.) I told her I would and could feel the guilt running through my body as I lied her.

What did I take away from this hour with the Lord (besides the fact that I’m probably going to hell for making fun of the elderly)?  As the preacher gave her sermon, she mentioned how to cope with a friend telling you about her health and a not so good prognosis.  Just then, I saw a man in front of me, wearing a bright read windbreaker (something I could picture my Dad  wearing in his later years), touch the woman next to him on the knee.  I assumed it was his wife.  They exchanged a loving glance and he rested his hand there for a few minutes.  Although I didn’t know them, I could feel how much they loved one another and it made me smile.

As much as I wanted to laugh when I walked into the service (mainly because it looked like a scene straight out of the movie Cocoon), I left feeling happy to have met Georgie and grateful to have my health and the future ahead.  Happy Sunday everyone!

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