Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Chapel

Dear Mrs. Rothwood,

     The Lenten Season is coming very soon.  How do you prepare for and observe Lent?

     This time of year always has me more introspective of my Christian walk.  One past incident came to mind recently and I have been meditating upon it.

     Several years ago, Mister Scott went through a time of serious illness that had him hospitalized several times.  I would visit him and we would try to have a merry time together in his room while the fog of worry and concern that illness, especially that of the breadwinner, brings.  

     When it was time for me to depart, the exiting hallway had a side door that led to a non-denominational (though heavily Catholic leaning) chapel.  I would walk by it numerous times; the dim light, the soothing water fountain, the kneeling bench at the alter, the plush chairs facing the crucifix all seeming to inviting.

     So, one time, I did venture in.  It was empty of other people, and I perched myself on the edge of a chair and tried to pray.  But, I felt so uncomfortable and like I didn't belong!  Therefore, I left, wondering why I felt so ill-at-ease.

     Three reasons came to mind as I contemplated my inability to worship in the little chapel:

     1. It was Catholic and thus not for Protestants like me.  (As if a Catholic atmosphere hinders Protestant worship.  How can that be?  While we may vastly disagree on theology, ultimately, Catholics love and serve our Savior, too.)

     2. I felt too worldly in my dress.  I dressed up for hubby.  Skinny jeans, tight tops, high heels, full make-up.  I wanted him to see me sexy and know his wife was still "keeping it together."  But, I felt so worldly.  That little chapel seemed to whisper of prayer veils and modestly feminine attire fit for removing the focus from ourselves and onto the Lord.  

     3.  Lastly, I actually felt silly in there.  I didn't want to appear vulnerable. I didn't want to cry.  I didn't want anyone to see me and judge me.  Openly worshiping and praying is very hard for me.  I am more of a prayer closet person.  I am uncomfortable with PDW (Public Displays of Worship).  I don't like to pray over meals in restaurants.  I don't like to raise my hands in church.  But, in my shower, my bedroom, my car, I can praise and worship all I want.

     Am I ashamed of God?  No!  Probably more ashamed of myself.  This goes back to #2, how I was dressed, but it also goes beyond that. Maybe it is an indication that I have too much compromise, too much self in my life.  Maybe it is a personality flaw I ought to overcome.  Maybe both.  Maybe habits.  Maybe fears.

     Maybe someday I will more humbly enter that chapel again.


Mrs. D. Scott

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