I rode out to the Ash Wednesday service last night. It was a warm night in Atlanta for it being February. I had a sweater on under a mid-season riding jacket and was toasty. I pulled up to the church (a different one from the Methodist) and asked two women who were walking up who looked like family.
“Is this the Presbyterian church?”
They nodded their heads and I held the door open for them. They looked like a couple and I was comforted by the fact that I wasn’t going to be the only gay in church that night. It was a huge place – I’m not used to large churches. The church I grew up in in rural Indiana was a one –roomed church similar to the one on Little House on the Prairie.
As we wove down the hallway another woman noticed my motorcycle vest with a Tail of the Dragon patch on it.
“You’ve done the Tail of the Dragon?”
“Why, yes – years ago, though. Do you ride?”
“Oh on, but, I’ve heard about it.”
“Which way is the sanctuary?”
“I will walk you – right through there.”
“Thanks, I’m Lanie.”
I walked through the door and realized that I was at the front of the church. Service was getting ready to start and I was standing out like a nudist at a suit convention with all my gear on and carrying a helmet with my bible sticking out of it, no less. I went all the way to the back row taking off my jacket and throwing it over a chair behind the pew. Only when I sat down did I see her- Hot Methodist Minister (HMM) sitting on the stage next to my [former] Lutheran pastor.
I sighed and wished I had sat closer. It appeared that we were looking right at each other but from that far away I couldn’t tell. There were several pastors there that night contributing to different pieces of the service. I wondered what piece she would be responsible for. When they started the ashing ceremony she approached the pulpit and started to sing.
“Figures the girl can sing, too.”, I thought.
I seem to have women of music constantly coming into my life these days (all of which I’m a little bit in love with). Wonder what that’s about? I was moved by her singing and she led the final prayer. Again, her words resounded in my head that was bowed trying not to look at her.
Afterwards, I made my way to the front of the church hauling my gear. She was talking to someone and I patiently waited this time. She turned to me and I stuck out my hand and introduced myself. She nodded, repeating my name and then,
“Oh yes, LANIE. Right!” she turned to the woman she had been talking to (who was still standing there – probably the president of her fan club – probably need to contact her to get on the list….) and said, “Lanie here had emailed me about bible study.”
In hindsight (like, right now) I wondered why she felt she needed to tell her that? Was she with the woman and had to explain why this blonde woman was approaching her. But, isn’t this part of the job with pastors to greet everyone after the service?
I stuck out my hand to the other woman and introduced myself just to be polite but have no earthly idea what her name was when HMM said,
“So, do you think you’re going to be able to come to Wednesday night bible study?”
“Yes, I think so. I mean, the reason I can’t make the weekends is because I work.”
“What do you do?”
“Well, I have two jobs. My part time job keeps me busy on the weekends why I can’t always make service on Sunday’s.” I held up my gear, “I teach motorcycle safety classes.”
“Oh, that’s good you’re teaching safety because they scare me…….sometimes.”
“You’ve never rode?”
“No…..but, there’s always a first for everything.”
I could see a line of people waiting to talk to her and didn’t want to keep her from her flock. I nodded at the line. “Ok, maybe I’ll see you in bible study.”
“Ok, great to meet you.”
So, I went, I enjoyed, I met. I don’t have any further answers to anything (is she married, straight, gay, single, etc. Does her faith keep her from being in the lifestyle, etc.). It doesn’t really matter in the long run. At least I met her. It’s all up to Goddess will now.
After that, I went up to several other people who looked like family and introduced myself –the couple that came in behind me when I got there and a male couple. They all go to that church. So, now I’m torn – there seemed to be a lot of family that go to that church but HMM is at the Methodist up the road. So, I guess I’m going to have to flip flop my time between the two for awhile. See where it goes.