I stood at the end of the row in front of the pew struggling to rid my mind of all the thoughts whirling around. Instead of worshiping God, I was thinking about how I had angrily responded to my husband that morning, about how the kids had fought all the way to church, and about the lesson we were teaching the three-year-olds in the next service. Finally, I shut my eyes so that I could concentrate on praying those great words we were singing of “How Great Thou Art.” I was alone in a sea of black soaking in the beautiful music as I sang out the words.
About the middle of the second verse I felt something on my arm. I woke up as if from a dream, turned my head and looked right smack into a set of eyeballs. What happened next was completely involuntary. I jumped up and down flailing my arms wildly and shrieking a high pitched sing-songy scream. I couldn’t stop. It was as if I could hear and see myself reacting wildly but was powerless to stop. I felt the stares and heard the snickers. When I finally stopped, I could no longer move. The lady was still standing there and I had no idea what she wanted.
My senses finally beginning to return, I realized she was trying to get past us to sit in the middle of the pew, so I finally walked into the aisle. My husband and daughter, however, still stood blocking the way, looking straight ahead and refusing to acknowledge they knew me. I had to walk back and pull on them saying, “They’re trying to get through.” Oh, how I would have liked to be invisible right about then.
Of all the times I have embarrassed myself, this would be the first time I screamed in the middle of a worship service in a huge church full of people. No one else would do such a thing, would they? My sweet daughter later exclaimed, “Yes, I was very embarrassed.” Poor thing. She is only nine and already ashamed of her mother, though in this case, who could blame her?