Sunday, February 10, 2008

Does God Care About the Jello Salad?

A pardon to those who have checked in, expecting to see a new post. I profoundly apologize, but I have been busy with God and the Jell-o molded salad.
I belong to a lovely church in Anchorage, 1st Pressed. Great people, many of whom have become lifelong friends, so for those who may be reading, please, no disrespect intended. As Yukon, the children and I become more familiar with church operations and activities, it is natural that we become more involved. One of those opportunities, a book club of sorts, is usually my weekly chance to vent about my husband and children to a group of like-minded women while we peruse a chosen book over the course of the school year.
An advantage to this "circle" (as groups of church women are referred to) is the opportunity to engage in this chatter and book study without our children crawling, whining, and throwing up on us, due to the PW. The PW, a group of women who have been at this church since Mary conceived Jesus, are an entity, a presence, and a force to be reckoned with. They also pay for the childcare. So when the PW asks, we become cheerful servants at such functions as Valentine's Day Salad Extravangaza, or the Springtime Tea and Cake Party. As we did on Saturday.
Supposedly a luncheon to appeal to the "younger women" of the church family, the event was a fairly simple affair. I cooked the hams in the cavernous church oven (every church has one, don't tell me yours doesn't), hiding out in the kitchen under the ruse that I musn't let the glaze burn.
Dessert, rolls, and punch rounded out our contribution, and the PW ladies brought the holy salads.
A salad potluck luncheon is a fascinating display of sociology. You can tell who spent the most prep time, who has done this before, and who stopped by the Fred Meyer on the way. Experienced ladies bring their own serving utensils and wash their dishes before they leave. Seasoned covered-dish participants are savvy to the wisdom of a smallish bowl; that to bring a huge dish is only asking for leftovers, and as everyone knows, an empty bowl is the greatest compliment.
So, we younger ladies ran around in the kitchen, bumping into each other and forgetting where we laid the pot holders and butter pats. I did not hear the speaker, but I understand she was quite good, for a younger woman. I missed the singing of "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" because the ham got cold and I had to stick it back in the oven and the buns were not warming correctly. Then I had to scrape off the glaze after it hardened onto the countertop where I spilled it.
At the end of the day, when we were cleaning up, folding pink tablecloths and putting away sugar bowls, the PW Preceptress came into the kitchen and sought me out. Never a good sign. I figured she was either going to smack me a good one for not showing up in the Fellowship Hall to visit, or she was pleased with the whole affair. Fortunately, the latter. But not so fortunately, she also asked me if I would be the new PW Poobah.
"Understanding what challenges I had in my life right now", and patting me on the shoulder like a teacher to a slow student, she left me with a request to pray about it and think about the "balance" such a position might give to my life.
I wonder if Jesus ever had to worry about someone bringing the wrong molded salad to any of HIS meetings?

No comments: