Good Morning, and Happy Sabbath.
Last Sunday, I was asked to help decorate our church for the Christmas season. While unpacking the balcony garlands I took a trip down memory lane to one of my most embarrassing moments in church.
I laugh now. But not so much then.
I was in third or fourth grade. My family always sat front and center in the left side balcony (Sierra Visit). Our pastor was in the middle of a riveting sermon. He was hitting his points and driving home the importance of living a grace filled life. (Or something like that...I really don't remember what he was talking about). I do remember that I had squeezed the majority of my body through the iron rods of the balcony railing and was haphazardly leaning over the edge while stuffing my face with cheez-its. Back in those days, the balconies did not have the protective glass that they do today. As I was munching and crunching, curiously peering down at the congregation below gravity suddenly took over and I dumped the entire box of cheez-its over the side of the balcony. I'm not sure what the people below us thought as it rained small square cheesy crackers...but I can only imagine. The funny thing is that our pastor didn't even look up. I'm sure he must have noticed that it was raining crackers, or at least heard them hit the ground - but as far as I can remember it didn't phase him at all.
After I dumped the crackers, I dove for the ground and just laid there until the service was over. Frozen. Embarrassed. Ashamed. All I wanted was to disappear. Once the service was over, my mom took my sisters and I to the car while my dad went downstairs to clean up the mess.
My parents never scolded me, or gave me a hard time (until years later....).
The next Sabbath, we returned to our place in the balcony (without snacks) and I sat there very still. On the railing the pastoral staff had placed a large placard that read "Keep Children Away." My dad took a black sharpie marker scribbled out children and wrote "Pharisees" in its place.
We didn't attend church for a couple of weeks (not because of the cheez-its or placard). However, when did return to church the balconies had glass covering the iron railings. I don't know if I'm the reason why the church suddenly decided to get glass to cover the railings (its safer) but to this day that is how my dad tells the story.