Church on Easter Sunday Morning.

20140420_131117Took MOM to her Local Parish — a typical Catholic Church.
Lots of folks in attendance — Easter Sunday.
In front of us sat a six year old boy with his Mother.

He was coloring in his Scooby Doo Coloring Book.
He had the Most Exciting thing in the World a Child can have:
A box of Crayola 24 Crayons.
And he was Enjoying and Delighting in the Infinitely Expanding Possibilities.
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I thought back to when I was his age —
Back in the Sixties —
when the Big Event in the Catholic Church was the Ecumenical Council and
Pope John XXIII allowing the Mass to go from Latin to English;
Then there was the radical “Folk Mass” replacing Traditional Hymns
with “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Day is Done.”
But Coloring Books would not have been allowed in Church back then.
Discipline and attention were obligatory.

Today, I know a woman who runs an Art Loft in her Church.
The entire Loft Balcony is set up with Easels, Tables, and Art Supplies.
Members of the Church Create Art while listening to the Service.
Seems like a really Cool idea to me.
This Boy in front of me has somewhat spontaneously Created his own.

So here I am with MOM this particular Easter Sunday morning
At a stock conservative Catholic Church
A new building with old ideas
The priest drones on.
The Congregation mumbles UnHeartfelt prayers
with which they are mostly unfamiliar,
The Easter morning crowd is by and large people who do not attend regularly.
My MOTHER knows every word —
80-some-odd-years, every Sunday, will do that.

The Catholic Church continues it’s ancient course of routine prayers,
Prohibiting Women in the Priesthood
believing that only Males may intercede on our behalf to GOD;
Discriminating against Marginalized People,
refusing to perform Gay Marriages;
Preaching against the use of condoms, even in Africa
where AIDS is expected to wipe out two-thirds of the population…
And a whole bunch of things that seem to fly in the face
of the very things JESUS taught us.
POPE FRANCIS seems to be setting in motion Waves of Positive Change
which have the potential to return the Church to JESUS’ Teachings,
And the Bishops who worship Power are up in Arms.
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The priest whirrs on about his trip to Venice
and how Wonderful it was to hear the Mass said in Latin again;
how listening to people of different cultures speaking in Latin together
affirmed for him “This is the Real Church!”
He laments that we ever went to English.

But I am entranced by this Little Boy in front of me
who has Created his own Art Loft right there in the pew.
The cushioned kneeler makes a very good seat for a six-year-old,
And the bench makes a very good art table.
He is Coloring.

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His MOM holds the box of crayons toward him as she recites the requisite prayers.
and he stares at the picture and considers carefully.
“Green,” he will say, and his MOM produces that Crayon from the Box.
“Pink.”
“Yellow.”
I begin to notice that he is Coloring the Scooby Doo Van and the Martian Ships
in bright Easter Colors.
His involved expression makes me smile.
He takes the box from his Mother’s hand
and pours out the crayons onto his “Art Table” —
He lines them all up…
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It occurs to me that GOD is indeed present in this Church
this Easter Sunday morning.
He is hanging out with this Kid.
He is Coloring!
He is Playing!
He is having Fun and Delighting in the Beauty,
the Magic,
the Wonder
of Romping Around in this Magical World
And Creating.
He Loves Color. We know this from the World He Created.
Look at the Clouds — they are not, in fact, merely white.
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GOD is Everywhere, of Course.
He is also up at the altar
He is Also with My Mother and with the Regulars there
He is with those who attend only on Easter and Christmas
He is with the people who mumble
He is with the people who don’t go to this Church or Any Church
He is with People of All Faiths and People of No Faith
He is with the Homeless Man on the train who has “GOD is LOVE” pinned onto his suitcase
and a few pieces of Palm sticking out from the front pocket.
He is with the Homeless People who have none of those things.
He is even with Me.

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Perhaps GOD is less about the Obligatory Discipline and Attention
we so often feel the Church expects of us.
JESUS was, after all, crucified for his disagreements with the Ruling Establishment.
He fought against all that.
The Crime placed above Him on his Cross read, “INRI,” standing for “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews,” the Ruling Establishment’s way of mocking Him for his insurgence and refusal to acquiesce to what they tried to impose on their people.
Quite the Rebel…
Quite the Creative Artist…

20140420_123300And so, on this particular Easter Morning, I cannot help feeling that just for Fun
or maybe Just to Celebrate the Holiday,
or maybe Always, because that’s the way it is,
God is hangin’ out with this Kid
and Enjoying this hour at Church as a Wildly Delightful and Creative Experience
of Unbounded and Never-Ending Imagination.
This Little Boy seemed So Like Him.

When the Service ended, I told the Boy’s MOM, “You are Very Good with him.”
She smiled, and nodded, accepting the compliment.
Then, indicating my MOM and Me, I told her, “This is what it looks like in 50 years.”
She was taken aback.
“And it does happen just that quickly,” I added.
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3 Comments

  1. rejoycephotos

     /  April 27, 2014

    I love the way you see the world! Read your blog regularly… Fellow Sark-er, Joyce

    Reply
  2. Words, pictures & sentiment combining to be so very inspiring on this Monday morning. Beautifully done!

    Reply
  3. I LOVE this, Arnold. The boy’s intense art, bright Easter colors, two loving mothers, droning priest, your keen observations. Every word says YES!

    Reply

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