Sweet hour of prayer

Saturday morning we all drove out to my sister’s church to attend my eight-year-old nephew’s baptism. I wore my new pink shoes because we were going to be in the Lord’s house, and we all know that He appreciates nothing more than a great outfit.

Jon and I sat next to each other a few rows back from the front of the chapel while Leta was passed among the forty members of my family who sat around us. It had been years since I dressed up in nice clothes to attend a church meeting, but the whole ceremony was so familiar that I could have written the script from memory, including the part during the opening prayer when every kid in the congregation opened their eyes to see who else was opening their eyes. When I was young I was certain that such a transgression was punishable by guillotine. Or worse, the distinct possibility that my mother would be disappointed in me.

When it came time to sing the opening song Jon fumbled for the hymnal and turned to the wrong page because the song numbers up on the wall were incorrect. Once I heard the first note I remembered every word from the years I spent singing hymns on Sunday. Jon, however, rushed madly to find the right page with the same intensity of cramming for a final exam.

“I can’t believe you don’t remember this one,” I said and then continued to sing the second verse in perfect alto.

He shook his head as if this were so typical. “Not everyone is the Valedictorian of Singing Church Hymns, Heather.”