I went to church this morning with my son and his recently reunited family. Mid last September I went to his church to try and bring him out of his quickly developing descent into a manic phase of his bi polar disorder. He wouldn’t talk to me. It was the last time I saw him until I found him in a tent city for the homeless a couple of months later. He will be leaving his current treatment facility to fully resume his life a week from tomorrow.
They had some excellent coffee in the lobby donated by a local coffee shop and I had gotten me a cup to sip during the sermon. Even though I had taken pains not to fill the cup too full and was holding it with both hands, my hands started to shake as they periodically do and the hot coffee splashed on my hands making things worse. Without saying a word my granddaughter reached over and took the cup out of my hands and set it down. She then walked over to a table by the doorway and retrieved some napkins for me to wipe my hands off with. A little later someone brought her one of the babies that she helps care for in the church nursery who she held for the rest of the sermon. Which made me remember, as I didn’t listen to the sermon, how I had held her when she was as small as that baby, and had held her brother when he was as small, and had held her dad, sitting on the other side of me, starting the day he was born.
Yep, I was in church alright. Belief is not the result of an analytical process where one evaluates the relative veracity and moral worth of theological propositions. It is a decision to believe or not believe that there is a good and purpose to life and existence. However it is that you regard it, and wherever it is that you find it, that purpose and good is God.
The church’s theological foundation seems to be some set of semi literalist biblical interpretations. Today’s sermon had something to do with stars being seen falling to the earth in the book of Revelation. The sermons there are proceeded and followed by a guitar and drums gospel band. I didn’t listen to the lyrics of the songs they played any more than I listened to the sermon. I watched the magnificent exuberance with which the musicians – congregation members expressed the decision that they have made and experienced the warmth of being among a large group of people of which, I felt, each and everyone wanted the best for everyone else there no matter what their trials and sins. It made me feel my purpose and good.
The Church of Baseball
For many the family warmth of baseball and baseball fandom is where they find their purpose and good.
Some former players have established a community which kids are welcomed into a baseball training community. Their parents are asked, NOT REQUIRED, to donate however much they can when they can, if they can. The church I was at today does the same thing.
Padre Steve associates his love of baseball with his love of everything using both to grow each other.
He appears to be of a age similar to my own and many others here. This is one of his favorite songs
Where do you find your purpose and good.