A Christmas Story
Several years ago my neighbor invited me to their Christmas program at their church. I had not seen the inside of a church for years and I thought I should go, even though I knew they went to the big First Baptist Church.
You've seen this kind of church. It's oversized, dripping with extravagance. They don't have greeters at the door, but instead a half dozen pickpockets who shake you down for all you have and then some coming in.
I purposely avoid churches who are all about the show and the money. Any time I go to a circus I want to see a few trick dogs not just the clowns. So, I figured, well what can it hurt. She was nice enough to invite me, and it will be good for my Christmas spirit.
To make it interesting I dragged my ex-husband along, you never know but he might find some spiritual healing. Well, it couldn't hurt.
So we dress up and go. As I sat in the pew, I hear a woman behind me as she leaned over to gossip to her friend. "Would you look at that!" She said, "I can't believe Judy wore that.
She wore that the last three Christmases." Her friend agreed.
I am not one to hold my tongue. People know that I am very verbal about injustice, and I am a great defender of the underdog. It's a life long pattern that started in first grade and it's not about to change now.
(I traded my friends in first grade to fight a rock war against my buds defending the poor smelly girl who had no friends they were calling names and throwing rocks at - another story, but you get the idea).
Basically I threw a few rocks at the women in the pew behind me. "Pardon me ladies," I said, "but I could not help but over hear your conversation. You should be ashamed of yourselves."
"What do you mean?" One of them asked.
"I suppose if Jesus were to show up you two would deny him entry. After all it's no secret Jesus walked the desert for years, he had one outfit and no MayTag washer to do his laundry. I don't suppose he smelled real good, do you? According to you two this is a fashion show, and frankly I think you both are missing the point. You should think about that!"
My ex-husband tried to quiet me. He does that because he doesn't want to have to pull out his 9-mm and shoot some folks in the Big Baptist Church, then later have to explain in a long story to the judge why he thought he was back in Vietnam and all.
Plus, making restitution on the 5-million-dollar, 40-Foot stained glass window that gets shot out is gonna be a real son of a bitch.
I whispered to my ex, "Put your gun away honey. I won't say anything else, but those women had that coming."
Meanwhile those two old crones were puffed up like poisoned pups sitting behind me pouting, not saying anything else but they were thinking it . . . I could feel it. They probably gave me some bunny ears too while I wasn't looking.
Next, they started the Christmas program. Oddly, every Christmas program I ever saw was done by children singing songs. This one was not.
It was more like a Hollywood movie production. Cameras were rolling and you have never SEEN such lavish costumes. Wow. They are re-enacting the road to Bethlehem, and the birth of Christ, in a modern style.
Yes, it's very contemporary, very modern and looked like a Tim Burton Production. It was quite a hunk of rhetoric and not very interesting, so I busied myself thinking of other things to make the time pass. Hoping just to get through it.
Things going through my mind as I sat quietly went something like this:
Would you get a load of the Angel. Ain't he a frightful sight? What's that on his head . . . a laundry bag?
Finally after a long tale, the spotlight shifted from the left side of the room to the front, to a balcony where we have the makeshift Mary and Joseph. Let's listen and see what this is about.
"Joseph," Mary said, "I have some news."
"What kind of news?" Joseph asked.
"I am pregnant."
"Pregnant!" He said. "How! WHO?"
"Let me explain," Mary said.
Next, there was a loud . . . . . BANG and the lights went out.
The place was deadly silent.
Never at a loss for words, in the dark I screamed, "OH MY GOD! HE SHOT HER!"
The whole place roared with laughter.
Honestly, the timing was so perfect on their apparent power/equipment failure, I figure it was God stepping in to humble them just a little and show them how ridiculous they were.
I'd give anything to have a copy of that video, wouldn't you?