Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners


Comedy Central Bible Study

Every Friday morning I lead a little support group/Bible study/worship service/open confessional/gripe session/gossip fest at a local assisted living center.

When the friendly neighborhood “workplace chaplain” shows up, she is greeted usually by the same women. There are the atheist depressive and the New York Jew, both of whom hate each other. (Last time one of them said to me under her breath that she didn’t know if she could stay if the other were there. She stayed…for a few minutes.)

And then there is usually at least one polite, Baptist African American woman, sometimes two, one of whom has early onset dementia. Which means that I can count on her to say the same thing over and over again in case we’ve forgotten: usually it’s some refrain of what a teenager would say when she has just gotten her driver’s license, about how she wishes she could have the car so she could get around more; or, that the world would be better if we all just learned to love each other better. (The latter reminder is one I guess we could all use.)

The funny thing is, if I show up only a few minutes late, the atheist depressive is asking the center’s activities director where I am. She is the most loyal, punctual attendee- even if occasionally she’ll stomp off rather dramatically in tears, because she can’t handle being reminded of her sad life.

When the New York Jew launches into one of her soliloquies about “the guy upsteehs” (translation, “the guy upstairs”) is when the atheist depressive decides to tune out. She fixes her gaze on some far-off place in the opposite direction of where the New York Jew is speaking, and then occasionally will glance at me, as if to see whether her protest is gathering attention- at which point I do the best I can to look gently disapproving. Usually, and thankfully, the New York Jew is oblivious, or at least pretends to be.

Usually, too, I can tell what mood my friends are in by whether they comment on my outfit. If I’m looking “stunning,” I can count on a more upbeat gathering. If I’m just “attractive,” it means breakfast was okay, but there may be some indigestion. If there’s no comment, I need to brace myself for a potentially difficult set of interactions. (The narcissist in me admittedly prefers the “stunning” days.)

But there is something heartwarming about knowing that at least for these three or four women, Friday mornings at 10am is now sacred, because somehow in some way God shows up for them there. In the T.V. room of an assisted living center. In the midst of several very different lives all thrown together in a seemingly haphazard mix.

Last Friday I asked folks to share where they had experienced God’s love in the preceding week- or, if they did not believe in God, where they had experienced love at all. The atheist depressive spoke up: “In your being with us here this morning.”

Together, the three or four of us make a small microcosm of people at the intersection between God and life- messy, colorful, comedic and sad all at the same time. It’s sitcom material, really. In fact, a television screen writer friend of mine has said she sees a future in it; so, I’m taking notes for that next show or next book, and you get to be my guinea pigs.

Happy Friday, friends!

 

 



  • Kristina Robb-Dover

    Thanks for reading, Andrea! I hope you’ll keep coming back to this intersection between life and God!

  • http://www.trailblazer1.wordpress.com Andrea Bearden-Kuhns

    Delightful reading. Thanks for the humor in all situations.

Previous Posts

Writing Sabbatical—and "The Departure of the Prodigal Son"
I'm sorry: my absenteeism at this intersection can be attributed to a number of things lately, the most pressing of which is my forthcoming book with author and Christian addiction specialist Jonathan Benz. The book (Prodigal Church or a version of it) is now officially under deadline and by April 1

posted 10:55:10am Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Restless Soul Hall of Fame: Sister Corita Kent
Since NPR's recent segment, Sister Corita Kent has come to mind a few times this week as someone who d

posted 10:23:30am Jan. 16, 2015 | read full post »

"I Am Charlie Hebdo"
I struggle to know how to greet you after such a long hiatus from posting here—and in light of how much has happened in the world since Christmas

posted 4:42:48pm Jan. 12, 2015 | read full post »

A Christmas Homily
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. —Luke 2:6,7 The sheer physicality of this picture strikes me this Christmas. The ba

posted 1:54:50pm Dec. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Mental Health Break—Sprawl II
My favorite band these days is Arcade Fire, and I've featured the Canadian indie rock group before at this intersection between God and life. The lead singer studied Kirkegaard in college and their songs, like this one, are often subtle but brilliant critiques of the least aesthetically pleasing thi

posted 12:58:15pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.