Yesterday, I shared Elsi Dodge’s story of how she came to enjoy the Freedom of a RV and if you’ve been following Elsi’s story, you’ll know too that she’s a born-again Christian. Knowing how important the Lord is to Elsi, I asked her, how she handled going to church when she was on a RV trip. Here’s her answer.
I do what I call ‘drive-by churches.’ I know about when people are having a church service and I get off the highway wherever I am. I drive through town, looking for a breed of church that’s within some fairly loose denominational limits, that’s having a service right about the time I’m driving by. I pull into their parking lot and I go in. Some of them are wonderful, some of them have been ghastly.
I have two classic stories to share. Once I was at a Southern Baptist church in South Carolina. I was the only female in the building in pants, including infants. I thought, ‘I’m on vacation. I’m sorry. This is the way I live.’
The first hymn was How Great Thou Art and I lifted a hand in praise. The song director on the stage stopped singing and stared in horror. I don’t know what he thought I was going to do! Luckily, everybody else kept singing. Suffice it to say, I did not feel welcome there.
My second story is about a little, bitty church in Oregon and everything was fine until sermon time when a man got up and said,
“As the chairman of your pastoral support committee, I’m really sorry to tell you that the pastor resigned last night.”
He proceeded to read the man’s letter of resignation, which was full of horrifying information. I thought that would have been a good point to close in prayer. Instead they took questions and comments. People were sobbing and yelling and then the gentleman in front of me stood up and said,
“I told the pastor this was gonna happen. I been counseling him about this. Why, just last week we had lunch together and I said to him, ‘Pastor, you cannot consider yourself a Christian if vote Republican.'”
Being Republican had nothing to do with why the Pastor resigned, by the way. When they closed the comments, I found myself thinking, ‘why am I here?’ I still don’t know except it’s a funny story. My heart broke for the there.
It’s hard for me to convey Elsi’s humor in these postings. I loved her ‘drive-by churches’ phrase and I laughed at her description of her saber-tooth tiger and terrorist fighting beagle in yesterday’s post.
Today, I’m impressed that someone who has suffered with panic and anxiety attacks, has the courage to go into a strange church unaccompanied. I think of all the occasions since my divorce that I’ve been hesitant or reluctant to attend because I would be on my own. I am such a wimp! I think about events and whether I’ll know anyone there. If I won’t then that’s a negative. Elsi’s story gives me a different perspective – I need to be looking at it as a positive and if it’s really that bad, I can always just leave. Not knowing anyone just makes that easier to do. Think I’ve just found myself a new outlook to work on for the New Year 🙂