Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stuck in the Middle

We're still attending the Baptist church in town. Doogie didn't even argue about going on Sunday morning. Mia loves church school (during the sermon of the regular service), and Jesse went to the Sunday night Bible study. We're all planning on going tonight (we'll see how I'm feeling after a day of housework). But on Sunday, something happened that has me completely unsettled. On the way out of church, the pastor's wife, Tammy, asked Jesse and I to supper Friday night. I smiled and nodded as my brain started spinning. I've never been invited to supper at a pastor's house before, not without it being a crowd of people. I know it's completely irrational, but I feel like I've been summoned to the Principal's office. I know that they are an extremely nice couple who just want to be welcoming and get to know the new family in church, but I can't help the anxiety. Is it ok to wear jeans? I'm trying to remember to give it up to God. Jesse and I would very much like to make this our church home. Friday night will go a long way toward making that happen.

Stuck in the Middle by Virginia Smith is the story of Joan Sanderson and her boring, going-nowhere life. She's been dumped by her long time boyfriend, Roger the Rat, her older sister is pregnant, and her beautiful younger sister has a terrific job. Joan lives with her mother and grandmother, who is becoming increasingly fragile. When a hunky doctor moves in next door, Joan sees what she's been missing, but little sister Tori also wants him. This book is far more than just chick-lit. Joan feels alienated from everyone around her. Her father left her as a young teen, and she resents her mother for his departure. She can't relate to God, because she doesn't feel like He is reaching out to her, but when she hears a missionary speak at her church, she feels the need to know God personally. Joan is a Christian like so many; she believes in God and has faith; she attends church regularly and does all the right things. But she's not connected to Him and hasn't experienced His wonder, until some chocolate ice cream shows up at just the right moment. Joan realizes that she can't get things right with her mother, sisters, or even the cute doctor, until she makes things right with God, and that means examining things in her past. Joan is believable and sympathetic, her heartache shows on every page as she struggles to do what's right without really knowing what that is. Very often our relationship with God has been influenced by our relationship with our earthly father, and this book is an excellent lesson on how to break free from the bonds of the past and security to find God.

My contest to win a copy of Susan D. Hill's Closer Than Your Skin is open until tomorrow night, Feb. 28th at midnight. Just drop me an email at to enter.


Timothy Fish said...

That's an interesting take on visiting a pastor in his home that I really hadn't that about. Being a preacher's kid and having been on the other side of the fence, I would say that this pastor and his wife are more interested in making a good impression on you than what you are on them. If they are like most of the pastor's families I know, they won't care what you wear. If you want to wear jeans, they probably won't give it a second thought.

Anonymous said...

You just go and be yourself. It is fine to wear jeans....pastors are for the most part very down to earth :)