We had a ‘no talent show’ last night in which I participated. I usually skip such events but when they announced it earlier in the retreat I knew almost immediately what I wanted to do and was one of the first people to pass in my description to Kate, the Heart of Business assistant, who was to be the MC.
My sketch which became a ‘purposeful parody’ was: Welcome to the Louisburg Baptist Church 3rd Grade Sunday School Class Sing-A-Long. I was Reverend Davis and one of the other retreaters was Ms. Straightlace, the rigid, domineering Sunday School teacher who had invited me, Rev. Davis to come and lead the young lambs of God in song, thus helping to save their sinful souls.
If I do say so myself, it got a good laugh…even I enjoyed it immensely until afterwards, when I felt a little ashamed as I realized that my original intention had been to make fun and to ridicule this part of my spiritual lineage.
And here’s where it became a purposeful parody. After the show, I realized in stepping into Rev. Davis’ shoes for even just a brief moment in time, that the true Reverands and Sunday School teachers that had led me in song some 50 years ago, and forced me to learn all the names of the books of the Bibles, and called me a lamb of God while in the next breath condemning me as a sorrowful sinner — they were doing the best they knew how to do given the frame and worldview in which they’d been raised.
No, it wasn’t right, least not for me, and yes the conflicting information was confusing and more than a little scary…AND they were doing the best they knew to save my soul because they loved me, just like, according to the songs we sang last night, Jesus loved me (and still does).
So, I was sitting with this revelation this morning and viewing it as an important healing of my spirit, then picked up my Science of Mind Magazine to read the morning’s Daily Guide, where I found this poem by Rumi:
If God said,
“Rumi, pay homage to everything that has helped you enter my arms,”
There would not be one experience of my life, not one thought, not one feeling, not any act, I would not bow to.
So, I bow humbly to my fantasy Reverend Davis, and Miss Straightlace as well as to all the real life reverends and Sunday School teachers they represent.