Friday, January 30, 2009

Why They Don't Go to Church

Dear Friends,
Writing my grocery list this morning made me think about other lists. I've got to have more on my mind than just eggs, milk and bread these days. Keeping my wits sharp is a full-time job at my age. People expect me to be ditzy but I refuse. I made all A's at the Business School which just goes to show I have brains aplenty.

Remembering several conversations I had with Blooming, the yard man, I realized that he doesn't go to church because he wears a hat. He's got a hat on his head from morning till night. At the dinner table, at the movies, wherever Blooming goes, he's got on some kind of hat usually a baseball cap from one of the garden stores. He's not taking it off. So, he thinks he can't go to church. If he takes his hat off, his bald head shows.

This reminds me of the woman I sat next to when I was doing court watching for the citizens group back in the 90's. The judge came in after the pig call thing the bailiff offers then looked at all of us and told Granny Lane to take off her hat. As if, as you youngsters say. Granny Lane thinks she has bad hair, hadn't been to the hairdresser for two weeks because her check ran out and wasn't about to take off her hat. She looks good in hats anyway. She had on a little cloche type hat which matched her jacket. She would not take it off. The judge badgered her until her sister, Maisy, said, "Mr. Judge Sir, she don't have her hair done, OK?" Looking at all us golden years type ladies glowering at him, the Judge relented.

People don't want to go to church if they have one of those side body bags after intestine surgery. Those bags make noise. In a crowd, who cares about little gurgles but in the quiet of the Sanctuary, a noise matters. It's a shame to give up worship with your church family but for many, the bag makes them stay home.

Then, you have the people who think they can't go to worship because the church is a social club. This is a silly excuse. What they really mean is they are going to isolate themselves from one more social outing. When I say "social" I mean getting together with people. For the lonely, it's just an excuse. I feel so sorry for these people.

I don't feel like getting out everyday but I make myself. If I stop, I may find it easier to stay home from activities tomorrow and if I do that, I may stay home forever. Isolated people have a tough time returning to the world. Thank goodness I don't want to miss anything. I want my gossip first-hand.

People who have piles can't sit in church long. Even with good pew cushions, one's backside gets testy sitting for an hour. I asked Rev. Sweetie about this and she said getting up and down for hymns and such broke up the hour. I don't think so. If your backside hurts, it hurts sitting then sitting down again.

Back in my day, if you didn't have the right clothes, you didn't go to church. I think church ladies were the first recyclers because if you didn't show up for church, we'd take hand-me-down clothing to you for your children and family. Now, people wear everything from beer t-shirts to flip-flops to worship. What you wear isn't an excuse. I suppose some churches expect people to dress up in newish clothing. At my church, the preacher asked the men to not wear suits or sports coats every Sunday just so we'd look friendlier to the community. God does not care if you wear a golf shirt or slacks to worship.

I just had a phone call. Looking at this list, I recall I began with a grocery list. I need to get out to the store if the cat gets off my lap, if I can find my checkbook and if I can change out of this robe. You can't wear a grippy coat to the Jitney. Talk about a dress code!

Aunt Bostick


  1. :-)
    I like your pastor's idea about dressing down a bit.

  2. Aunt Bostick, one of my friends wrote his D.Min. thesis on shame, and the role that shame plays in keeping people away from church. I would bet that 90% of the reasons people give for not going to church anymore mask the real shame and hurt beneath them.

    My mama used to shop at the Jitney, and so did all of my Jackson people. I miss it, and the Piggly Wiggly too.

  3. This list contains very good reminders