April 12th…“SHARE A MEMORY ABOUT GOING TO CHURCH AS YOU WERE GROWING UP IN MINNESOTA.”
I’ve heard tell that some mothers almost “lose their religion” when it comes to getting their young family ready for church on Saturday nights or Sunday mornings. Thankfully, our mom kept her frustrations in check….for the most part, that is…..heheheh 😉
At our home, going to church started on Saturday nights when Mom would almost have to bodily threaten me to get INTO the bathtub and scrub off my little boy scales of scum in preparation for church the following morning. Therefore, once I had ensconced my boy body INTO that tub, I had so much fun that I became a prune from head to toe and had to again have Mom threaten me …..only this time it was to get OUT of my porcelain playground palace, dry off and prepare for the next phase of “gettin’ ready for church”.
Squeaky clean out of the tub now, and wrapped in a towel, it was to boogie into the Living Room and sit by the upright furnace for warmth and to wait for Mom to come with her clippers and fingernail files. Nail time!!! Not sure if we were too ornery, or if Mom was worried about us kids cutting off our own appendages, but next came the toe and fingernail clipping ritual.
In between our protests of Mom’s cuticle capers on our nails, we’d watch our family’s favorite television shows of “Lawrence Welk” and then “Gunsmoke”. Our farmer dad, over in his easy chair, would sometimes “shush” us if we were too vocal when Mom inadvertently skewered us with a nail file while cleaning the leftover grime from our dingy digits.
Although our family lived within a modest income, Mom always saw that her children were scrubbed and polished for the Lord’s Day each Sunday morning!
As I look back, I treasured the kindness of our adult church “family” at Grace Evangelical United Brethren Church there in our hamlet of Kiester, Minnesota. From the cheerful ushers who greeted us at the doorways, to the Sunday School teachers; I felt at home and comfortable there.
Now it’s true that I was happy to BE in church, but sometimes comprehending the spiritual aspects OF church were a whole echelon above the immaturity of this little boy brain. It was hard enough just to sit still, say nothing of actually paying attention to the sermon and understanding what the minister was striving to preach about. So, even though my little boy mind would wander, while looking at the stained glass window, I still felt the peace of our family being in another “home”, so to speak, in a spiritual sense. My favorite treat of all Sunday mornings was to hear our dear mother sing those wonderful hymns of our Christian faith during congregational singing. I thank you, Lord, for the young church days of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.