Sunday, November 8, 2015

ACWI......attending church while injured

Four days after surgery and I am so thankful that it's Sunday. I have the greatest excuse ever for getting out of this! I will take a shower, find a clean shirt, then strap on my stylish shoulder sling/harness and make my way to church with the unbridled enthusiasm of the newly converted. I will wear the sling not because it is required as part of my therapy, but because its presence will hopefully keep the David Johnsons of the world from greeting me with a hardy pat on the back, which would launch me into a bout of public weeping that I would never live down in a million years.

Attending church while injured, ACWI for short, has many benefits, not the least of which is the fact that it provides a handy topic of conversation for those sometimes strained fellowship times. For those of you who aren't Baptists, this is when the pastor extols the congregation to "find someone you don't know and strike up an awkward, forced conversation!" With my sling, I have a built in excuse not to have to shake hands and a conversation starter:

Random stranger: So, you break your arm or something?

Me: No! This is just the latest fall fashion excessary. All the kids are wearing them these days.

Another benefit of ACWI is that it gives you a pass on the musical chairs routine common in Protestant churches nowadays. One never knows anymore when you're supposed to stand and when you're supposed to sit in church. A song will begin and at first everyone will be sitting, but after a couple of awkward measures, a few people will randomly begin standing, especially the rhythmically challenged woman down front. Pretty soon, a full fledged group think experiment breaks out and before anybody knows why, everyone is standing. I'm thinking that if I'm wearing a shoulder harness, I will be given a pass.

Perhaps the single greatest benefit of ACWI is the blanket dispensation one receives from the ubiquitous clapping that has managed to infect Baptists congregations all over the fruited plain. Every song, regardless of meaning or purpose demands a round of applause. Every attempt at humor, successful or not, is met with thunderous applause. Even the most tender and nuanced song brought forward in the most subtle and thought provoking style gets crushed by wildly inappropriate clapping. Well...not today, baby! I won't clap, for anything! Heck, I couldn't even if I wanted to...which I won't! Now that I think about it, this sling business might be the best thing that's happened to me at church since I taught a Sunday School class full of tenth grade boys. Maybe this thing actually is a fashion excessary!