[Disclaimer: Okay... a little background. I am Roman Catholic. Never have gone to any charismatic church stuff. I am Irish & English and enjoy my personal space - meaning a radius of about 4 to 6 feet - I am not about to mock it... so forgive me if the following comes across that way - I had a good time... it just was, well, different and, dare i say.... scary.]
So, my cousin Kerry is leaving to go home to the Keys tomorrow morning - so my mom, my aunt judy and i went to kerry's church up here... in this area it's the Shore Christian Center...
we get there - lovely place - apparently everyone knows everyone etc etc etc.
the service begins and it's a bunch of teens (with emo haircuts) rocking out in a band - with an adult guy singing lead christian music... okay... a little loud... i haven't had coffee yet... but nice... everyone is clapping their hands in time to the rhythm... i try - i'm not warmed up yet.
about 20 minutes of singing into it, then they pass it over to the pastor dewey fella who starts going on about some conference this week and blah blah blah - fine... no biggie, for some reason i thought that after 20 minutes of that chatter that we were probably headed home...
then there was about 5 minutes of more christian rock music... and kerry leans over and says "oh he's going to start his sermon now"
okay... let go. let god, right?
the pastor starts doing his thing (a low key steve martin/Leap of Faith gig) and everyone's standing... erm... okay... well, i don't want to be rude, so i am standing as well... they say to greet your neighbour - I, Miss Catholic, am used to the usual "peace be with you" nod or handshake then move on...
chick next to me grabs me and hugs me... eh... oh my god. wasn't expecting that.
then the preacher starts yammering about Jesus or God (one or the other - odds are.)
chick next to me starts speaking in tongues.
i do not mean idle chit chat like "please jesus help me get through the day" --- but "gibbledy gibbledy jesus bleeble bleeble" etc --- i am paraphrasing here.
she's RIGHT next to me... and then i hear about 5 others in the crowd doing this as well... everyone's hands are up and all that - i am standing next to kerry - kinda inching closer to her for a little protection...
bring on the music again... mixed with the preacherguy --- mixed with the tongue people --- music starts...
all of a sudden - Tongue Chick GRABS MY HAND AND STARTS LIFTING IT TO THE CEILING
okay - um... did i mention that I am a repressed Irish Roman Catholic girl? you are lucky if i clap or even sing to the point of hearing me.
now here i am with the TongueChick LATCHED ONTO MY ARM --- i freeze.
now, i go along with it, so as not to be rude, but she was hurting my arm (i had done some dvds yesterday with a lot of upperbody exercises and my neck and arms had been killing me)
so then she GRASPS MY HAND TIGHTER AND ENTWINES HER FINGERS --- crap.
my arm tries to play opossum and not move... not gripping her hand back - i am not trying to be a jerk, but touchy feely crap is not my forte... and this was starting to freak me out and get me panicky.
i know, i know - i was in church - but, please.
she's swinging my arm hither and tither, i am looking at my cousin and aunt and mom with eyes pleading "HELP!" but all i got in response was a little laughter...
TongueChick starts bumping her hips into me while having her way with my arm... ow. ow. ow.
I am not your plaything lady... yet, i don't want to be rude and pull my hand away or just stand there ---- so there i was with my hand being hijacked and my body forced to move and dance (i don't dance.)
the only thing i prayed for at that moment was for the music to stop and the preacher to force us to sit...
and finally after what seemed like 45 minutes (it was about 5 minutes. FIVE MINUTES OF BEING VIOLATED) the music stopped and he started chatting again...
and Tonguey Magee started up her blather chatter under her breath again... then all of a sudden i nearly jumped out of my seat because the guy in front of me screamed
i think i wet myself out of fear at that point... okay - breathing returned to normal - pastor was going on about the word "yet." in a sermon - and that was nice all of a sudden guy in front of me points up and screams "AMEN!!!!!!!!!"
he must have done this about 45 times after that and I was shellshocked and kept flinching each time...
then it was time for more music and standing and i think i was pretty much hiding behind kerry at that point after inching closer and closer to her so the TongueChick wouldn't accost me again.
then they were pulling people out of the crowd to go to the front and be saved and get a free bible and then a guy was running around with a microphone with people singing....
Other than all of that, it was nice.
But, I think I will stick with my "low-key, don't ask don't tell, hey you 6 feet from me in the pew here's a peace sign let's sing Amazing Grace" kind of Roman Catholic Church.
I am exhausted