February 10, 2017 § 3 Comments
I am so over the politics. The stridency. The inflexibility on all sides. I’m ready for a little distraction. Think I’ll tell you a funny story instead.
I settled down contentedly in my obviously new theater-style seat at Crossings Church, a medium-mega church in Oklahoma City as the over 100-voice choir, accompanied by a full orchestra, began to sing. The congregation of 2,000 plus stood as the first notes of the “Hallelujah Chorus” filled the auditorium. I smiled at my college-aged granddaughter on one side, and my daughter on the other with the rest of the family filling the row. Smoothing down my new maxi-length striped skirt, I glanced around me at the congregation of the well-dressed gathered for the Easter morning service. What a great place to be for Easter. This is going to be good!
Sandi Patti was going to be singing. Sandi Patti! I couldn’t wait. This was her home church where she apparently traditionally shares a song on Easter. Bonus! As the well-known soloist began to sing, “Because He Lives” she invited us to stand and sing along with her. As I enthusiastically belted out a few words, loudly harmonizing to, “Because I know . . . who holds tomorrow . . . and life is worth the living . . . just because He lives,” I enthusiastically stood.
As it turns out, a little too enthusiastically.
Then I looked down and saw white. White? I‘m not wearing white.
My skirt with its soft, fold-over waistband was a geometric pattern of definitely black, white, and gray, but not all white.
I sat down fast.
My granddaughter looked over at me wondering no doubt, What’s Grandma doing now? I had stepped on the back hem of my skirt when I stood up. Wardrobe malfunction of the worst kind. It felt like a dream sequence when something terrible happens surrounded by a cast of thousands.
I sat down hard, grabbing for the front of my skirt and adjusted it to cover my white slip. Fortunately, I was wearing a very long jersey jacket that just might have provided sufficient cover in the back. I’ll never know. (There was a balcony up above, so someone may have had an opinion on that.)
The back of my skirt appeared to have landed somewhere in the vicinity of the back of my knees. While everyone in the congregation stood again for another song, I fished surreptitiously around for it without finding it.
All through an excellent Easter sermon I tried to reach the waistband in the back to pull up the skirt, without being too obvious. What am I going to do? Will I have to sit here until everyone leaves? I didn’t have a coat to wrap around me. It was a little hard to concentrate on the sermon knowing that very soon I was going to have to get up. And yes, I prayed. I was getting desperate.
By inching, and probing, and pulling, all so very carefully, I eventually located the back of the skirt. At the last possible moment, at the closing prayer, when all eyes were to be shut in prayer, and the lights were dimmed ever so slightly, I made a bold grab and got the offending back of the skirt in approximate position. Just in time. I stood with the rest with one hand under my jacket holding the waistband in place, and tried to nonchalantly walk out.
What did I learn in church that Easter Sunday? I don’t remember much of the sermon. But I did think of life lessons on being uncovered or falling short. If you need a good humbling, church is a good place for it. God will find you there. And also never leave home without a safety pin.