23 June 2008

God Sighting (Meeting?)

Sunday morning it was humid, heavy and dark. The clouds and tall buildings blocked out the sun, not to mention our black out curtains we use to block noise and light. So it was after 10:20 that I finally got myself out of bed, and decided yes, I would try to make it to church at 11 on the upper east side, usually a 30 minute train ride. I washed and dressed quickly and was able to leave the apartment building by about 10:30...

The subway station is 0.33 miles away, according to Google Maps, but it doesn't seem so far. I just walked along, hitting EVERY cross walk when it was lit with the green man signifying "walk." I didn't think I had money on my subway card, so I was going to refill it. Typically I wait for a train for 5-10 minutes on Sunday mornings so there is time to stop at the machine and add money. But, as I descended into the station, a train, my train was pulling in, and I chanced it and swiped my card - success, with 50 cents left.

Through the turnstile (with the satisfying "thunk" on my behind when going through) and rushing across the platform, hopping on the train just in time. Usually I ride the 6 - it's the only train that stops at this station usually. But this was a 5 express, which was running local below 42nd street, including stopping at my stop at Astor Place. SO my luck was catching the train just as it arrived at the station (with just enough money on my subway card to get on!) and then after 42nd street it was only two more stops to my church, and when the thing goes express, it can really book it.

I arrived at church on time, maybe even a few minutes early!

The church (and so far every church I've visited in NYC) isn't air conditioned, so it's very hot. It wasn't too bad of a day out yet, and they have electric fans throughout the church and leave the windows and doors open (the singing and praying drowns out the traffic noise without issue). I was able to secure a seat in front of an oscillating fan, so that every 10 seconds or so I was hit with a breeze. And despite my hot nature, I was able to keep cool and not be distracted by the heat...

The service was good - and the songs, well they sang songs I knew from growing up (Are Ye Able? and Here I Am, Lord), and they played "Jesu, joy of man's desiring" - a song we played at our wedding. It sounds a lot different on the organ (and with the choir singing the lyrics), but it gave me warm fuzzies. A little boy was baptized, and that always adds to the majesty and wonder of the worship. The service itself was about thanking and honoring the volunteers who make the church run. And how we must answer the call to do our part. It's not about our "ability" but our "availability" ... God doesn't call the qualified. God qualifies the called. I loved that. I have plenty of abilities to offer, but I'm stingy in my availability - which is crazy, since I don't know anyone here and don't really do much outside of work and hang with Shawn. Maybe this can be my goal...

God sightings (or God meetings) indeed. ~Mari.

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