It’s not an exaggeration to say that I am a magnet for Christians. They LOVE me. Really, I don’t know why I seem to attract so many Christians, but seriously, they swarm me. Where ever I go, I always somehow seem to end up talking to someone who really loves Jesus and wants to talk to me about it. Possibly I have that Catholic look and seem to be in need of conversion or maybe I just have an aura around me that screams “She-ah NEEDS-ah Jesus-ah!”
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Jesus, He’s one righteous dude. I’m just private about my beliefs and don’t feel comfortable openly talking about God, Jesus, church, or anything dealing with religion. I struggle mightily with my beliefs and the Bible, but I have the utmost respect for those who are dedicated to their faith, whatever their faith may be.
Something that I’ve learned in the my years living in the south, is that one of the first questions someone asks you upon meeting is, “Where do you go to church?” At first, I found it quite offensive and intrusive. Where I’m from, the Midwest, it’s just not something you ask, at least not when you’re first meeting a person. Religion was always a topic reserved for people that you were very close to and not something to discuss with random strangers.
I’ve grown accustomed to the question and even expect it now. I no longer stammer awkwardly trying to come up with an answer that doesn’t make Tate and I look like devil worshipping heathens. Now I’m prepared and typically fib, just slightly, which is wholly different from outright lying. I tell people that we are Catholic and just haven’t found the right church yet. The truth is actually that we attended one church since moving to Tennessee and didn’t like it AT ALL and on top of not liking it (AT ALL), Tate and I had to coax our wiggly children into submission with crayons, tractors, cookies and half-nelsons for the hour long mass. I always make sure to mention when I’m asked about my church attendance, that I attend Bible study every week, though I leave out the part about my initial reason for attending being the free childcare. (It bears repeating: FREE CHILDCARE.)
Today at the grocery store I must have looked particularly in need of some Christian intervention. The teenage clerk, without even saying “hello” asked me, “Did you go to church today?”
Um. This bears repeating, too. The clerk? As in the cashier, the employee of the store, also a teenager, asked me if I’d been to church today. Which I should mention is variant of the regular, expected question, “Where do you go to church?” This unexpected alteration was quite disconcerting and really caught me off guard.
“No,” I replied, not feeling like I really owed this kid any sort of explanation. Though I’ll tell you the reason that we didn’t attend church today was because Tate and I stayed out until almost 1 AM the night before, cussing and drinking, Tate was hungover as all get out, I was tired, and we had never even planned to attend church anyway. So there! Ha!
And that’s when the teenage clerk asked (you are SO not going to believe this), he asked, “Why not?”
Oh my freaking hell, he asked “Why not?!?!?” Who does that??
I wish I was one of those really quick witted people that can come up with retorts on the fly, but I was flabbergasted! My reply was lame. “Because,” I said with an irritated glare.
Oooh, I really showed him.
Except that I didn’t, because he wasn’t done with his line of questioning yet.
“What? You just didn’t get up in time?” he asked, completely clueless to the lasers shooting out of my eyes into his forehead.
I swear it just might be easier to start going to church.