“This is going to be awful. Will anyone speak to me in Sunday school, or even during church?” Lily asked herself. She opened her car door and stepped onto the blacktop of the church parking lot. She was wearing a beige blouse, her long black skirt, tan boots, and her favorite purse. She had a Bible app on her iPhone. “I hate this. Coming to church alone, at the mercy of every crotchety old deacon with untrimmed ear hair and bad teeth. Why did I even come today? This is going to be awful.” So ran her thoughts as she donned a smile and neared the doors at the front of the church. She saw a feigning old man getting ready to utter some platitude about how glad he was she came to God’s house today. Lily could feel sweat form under her right armpit. “Oh gosh,” she thought, as she extended her right hand to shake the old man’s, “I bet he’s got black ear hair. And I’m starting to sweat. And it’s February.”
“Welcome to Beulah Church, young lady. I’m Donald. Are you visiting with us today?”
“Yessir, I’m new to town. My job brought me here,” Lily said.
“Well, welcome. I’ll have someone show you to a Sunday school class for your age group, okay?”
“Yessir,” Lily said. “That’d be great.”
Lily tried not to stare at his ears; she feared seeing black hairs staring back at her. “He seems nice enough, however” she thought.
“But now Sunday school is sure to be a semicircle of the self-absorbed, texting one another, instead of listening to the teacher,” she thought.
Lily had been raised in church. She knew how mean some folks could be. “Was the church ever pure?” she wondered. “I shouldn’t have come. But I needed to. But I’ll not meet any friends. Only friendlies. There’s a world of difference,” she thought. Weighted in her voiceless loneliness, Lily knew that within seconds, she would enter a Sunday school class.
The door to the class loomed straight ahead.
(To be continued)