And I sit on the back row…
which makes me a Back Row Baptist.
I’m not a back row Baptist because I want to stay disengaged from the service, though. I’m a back row Baptist so as not to disturb the other worshippers.
Because I’m also what my daughters call a
a Bobblehead Baptist.First Baptist church in a small southern town, and First Baptists can be a very subdued bunch. Not I. I’m the toe tapping oddball of the congregation. I love the music, and even more, I love the words behind it.
Even so, I try to behave and respond in the most First Baptist way possible.
Feet planted on the floor…
Hands on the back of the pew…
Head… bobbing along as if it’s not acquainted with my shoulders at all.
If the song makes me weepy, I cry.
If the song makes me happy, I grin.
If the song is
Victory in Jesus
Days of Elijah,
I might add a little bouncy hip action
to the bobblehead dance.
And I belt out the song. In my head, I sound just like Mahalia Jackson (I think I must really sound like her, too, because nearby worshippers often turn their heads quizzically in my direction…)
This is the reason that I have been banished to the back row, the entire extended family along with me. There we sit all scrunched together in the family pew.
the sister’s family,
And the Duchess, of course.
The Duchess takes her matriarchal pew duties very seriously. She is the official look giver and peppermint passer. She likes those crackly peppermint wrappers to be opened during the loudest organ crescendo of the anthem. (If you forget to open your crackly peppermint paper during the crescendo, the crevice of the knee between two crossed legs is a pretty good muffle. A little cough while you're doing it helps too.)
In addition to the peppermints, she also passes the buck. If you sit on our pew and are under the age of 25, the Duchess will hand you a dollar to put in the collection plate. She has been passing the buck since the girls were little, and it appears that nothing short of matrimony will make her stop.
We knew that the newlywed nephew had passed Muster on his first official family visit because she came prepared with a crisp dollar bill just for him. I’ll never forget his face when he was passed the buck. The niece gave him the *just go along with it* look.
Which made me giggle.
Which got me The Look from the Duchess.
I put my offering inside of my little Baptist pink envelope. I could turn it in during Sunday School, but I refuse to do so in silent protest of the fact that they make two men miss Sunday School each week to count them. I’m sort of a rebel that way.
I did, however, buy little smiley face stickers to decorate my pink envelope..
because the LORD loveth a cheerful giver.
He loves all cheerful givers, but he loveth the Southern Baptist ones. That’s because we’re prone to burst into Elizabethan English at random moments. We say “thee” and “thy” and “thou” and we add a little “eth” to the end of our verbs. We use ten dollar words like “unction” and “begotten”, and the curtain in the temple was not just torn in two from top to bottom, it was rent in twain…
Sometimes, Elizabethan Dixie triggers my giggle reflex…
Which triggers The Look from the Duchess.
Aside from the bobbleheaded hip bounce and Elizabethan giggle reflex, I pretty much behave back there on my back row. I even take notes during the sermon. I do admit, though, that whenever a preacher wants every head bowed and every eye closed, I have an uncontrollable urge to peek.
Once, I caught the Duchess peeking too.
And I still got The Look.
If you were waiting for a point to this rambling mess, there is none. Let’s just call it an informational yakabout. Not only did I just give you a piece of the puzzle from Thursday’s chicken note,
but now you know the reason why...
the Presbyterian-born husband
to go upstairs
to the balcony
and sit in the sound room
all by himself.
Can anybody relate, or am I the lone bobblehead in blogland?