Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sunday School


I was visiting a church this morning in Tallahassee, FL, and sat in on a random Sunday school class. About halfway through the lesson an older lady interrupted the teacher and said, “Do you know where it says in the Bible ‘search me and know me and see if there be any wicked thing in me?’”

“I believe that’s in Psalm 51,” the teacher said in his thick southern drawl.

Before I could think I heard my voice from the second row say, “I believe that’s the end of Psalm 139.”

Someone behind me laughed, and I heard more pages turning to look up Psalm 139, than for any of the passages the teacher quoted during class.

“Psalm 139.” The teacher said, eyeballing me from the lectern. “I knew it was in the Psalms somewhere.”

For the rest of the class period I kept myself occupied by staring at the posters on the wall behind the teacher. The church had its own daycare and elementary school. We must have been in the First Grade room, because the walls were covered with posters on phonetics. They were more interesting than you would imagine. “Wh:; Pronounced: hWh; Examples: hWhere?, hWhen?, hWhat?” It was the first time I had seen the “h” in front of such familiar words. Then it occurred to me that if these children took the charts too seriously they would be pronouncing things like our teacher for the rest of their lives. “Hwelcome to Tallahhassee.”

I found my sister in the Sanctuary after class and sat through a pretty good service. The sermon was about how unchecked anger can eat away at us from the inside. I saw the teacher respond to the altar call. At first, I felt sorry for him, but I couldn’t help respect the hell out of the guy. I mean it takes a lot of balls to teach the hways of the hword to 30 adults every Sunday, and then stand up in front of all of them and say “This is my big problem, and my life isn’t right because of it.” I never went to his class again. I couldn’t stand having people laugh at a guy like that.