Saturday, July 30, 2016

Lived Faith II: Surfer Church

Lassoing them in for the Lord!
"My husband used to be in the ministry," my manager told me. "He was hired by a friend who was the main pastor to be the youth pastor."
"Oh, really?" replied his Traddiness. Occasionally she diverts her cohort from the Amazon rain forest trees that died to panel the walls of our office, an informal jeans-wearing establishment decorated like a Manhattan law firm, and our monthly reports, read by the few, with tales of her evangelical life. For the New England Catholic, these life pericopes are remarkable passages of local religion that one could scarcely imagine outside the Bible belt.
"Yeah," she continued. "We were going to join a cowboy church, but that was 20 minutes away. Just too far."
"A cowboy church?"
"What, pray tell, is that?"
"Ya'll never heard of a cowboy church?"
"Mrs. Manager," I said, "I am a Yankee. Everyone north of the Mason-Dixon line is either a Catholic, a lapsed Catholic, or a semi-lapsed Jew."
"Cowboy church is when you have a theme, in this case the rodeo, to draw people in and ya'll have a good time together, but ya'll have to do a devotional."
"A what?" I wonder what transpires within her big Dallas hair. Surely no one can survive unscathed the chemical exposure in the quantities of hairspray necessary to achieve Dolly Parton's hairdo on a daily basis.
"A devotion? It's just a prayer service and some teaching. It can happen right quick wherever you are! Even on the beach?"
"The beach?"
"Heck yeah, the beach! A friend of ours went to Thailand to start a surfer beach. All the locals and tourists surf in, they hold their devotional on the beach, and then they surf out."
I cannot help myself: "Before the Flood, no doubt?"

In thinking about the idiosyncrasy of someone born in Lubbock and raised in Dallas wearing the babushka, perhaps we have overlooked more extreme examples of what happens when faith is planted on soil with no nutrients; roots cannot dig deep.

A reading from the book of Brian Wilson:

1 comment:

  1. Oncet, I was drinking a Bloody Lizzie (real Catholics don't drink a Bloody Mary) with my Daughter one Sunday after Mass when we saw "The Good News Fishing" crew (Yes, Virginia, it really exists and that is its name) setting out into the deep.

    Dad, t'heck is that?

    O, those guys? They keep fishing for Talipia zilli but they never find any

    Uncountable are the number of ministries in the South (although if you live in Florida you have to go north to get to the south) especially in the Catholic Church and if you tell the Pastor of the local franchise of Dead Diocese Inc America that you'd like to volunteer to be a companion/helper/cook/driver for a Catholic widower, you will be instructed to "Call Becky, she runs all the ministries here."

    I have asked three different Pastors and been given the same generic response (only the names of the women directors are different). No tone of them was interested in pairing me up with a Widower.

    C'est la vie.