Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Go Johnny Go Go

This past Sunday while visiting my in-laws, I attended church where my wife's family goes. I'm not too particular about going to their church, but I have been working on my attitude and am trying to not be so negative (the harms of studying Bible in Grad School). We went through the usual routine of two songs, opening prayer, song, Lord's Supper, song, Contribution, 2 songs, sermon, invitation song, closing prayer and announcements. I won't bother with relating the subject matter of the sermon, but during the closing of the sermon a kid in a blue shirt (we'll call him "Johnny") comes down the aisle and stands near the pulpit. The preacher stops talking and looks down at Johnny and says in a rich baritone voice, "Hello young man." Johnny, who had his back turned away from the preacher facing the audience, turns around, waves enthusiastically and says, "Hi." The chuckles rippled throughout the congregation like a small stone being thrown in a reserved pond. With not much idea on what to do next, Johnny began running up and down the aisles. Most of the audience attention on the preacher was now being lost and onto the child. The preacher again spoke clearly and calmly into the microphone, "Are you lost son?" A few more chuckles arose from the crowd. By this time, our complete attention was on Johnny. Whose child is this? I started to feel embarrassed for Johnny's parents. 'What if his parents are visitors to the church and they get so embarrassed by this incident that they won't come back,' I thought. "Are his parents here?" asked the preacher. No response. Nobody at this moment was going to acknowledge that this was their kid because the lunch time conversation would seemingly revolve around you and about how you can't get your kid to behave even in church. About this time, the kid had returned near the pulpit and was headed up another aisle. Seeing as how no one was going to own up to their own child, a rather large man in a faded green blazer stood up and held is arms out like he was about to hug the tender boy. The only problem was Mr. Green Blazer had a nasty look on his face, one that didn't suggest any hugging would be happening in Johnny's future. The crowd was hushed with anxiety and anticipation. What will happen to Johnny and who the heck are his parents?

As one would suspect of a future halfback, Johnny ran a "Strong Sweep to the Left" to the far aisle were he was encountered by another individual only this time, there was no angry face or faded green jacket. The younger man asked the boy, "Do you want to go outside to get a drink of water?" Clearly this boy was on a mission. "No" he stated emphatically. With that answer, the adult practically formed tackled the kid from behind, which would have made any head football coach proud, and lifted him up toward his shoulders. The man didn't ask again if Johnny wanted any water, he emphasized that they were going to get water anyway. "Let's get some water." At that, the fiasco came to a close. The young adult who captured the child was not his father or relative. I don't know if I ever saw Johnny's guardian, but I bet his backside saw who was.