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Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Sunday of the Dishes

In little ways he always finds you. You can barely dodge or avert his gaze. For in that gaze you know that you've been found and you're going to be a volunteer. At Downtown Church of Christ today this happened again as it did last time. Instead of listing in the bulletin whose to do the communion service, he nominates you, right there on the spot. It doesn't matter that he really doesn't know who you are, and what your name is, and even that you could be a professed Mormon. He looks at your face from across the room, and reads it's youthful college look, and surmises that you must be from Harding. This nominator is sly and sneaky and has the eyes of a true predator of able-handed prey. I do not know his name though, he always wears a name tag. I think that it is something old fashioned and friendly like, "Ernest" or "Henry" or maybe "Clyde". Therefore, I will refer to him as something much more suitable to his character. We will call him, "Hawkeye."
His style and strategy is to just pop up out of nowhere. One minute your placing your Bible on your seat and the next moment you look up he's right in front you....and then it isn't seconds later until you are designated as one of the tray passers. Trust me, I've tried to subvert his eyes. For he'll stand a whole 30 yards off, with everyone in the whole assembly talking and greeting, and then those piercing eyes will begin searching the room. And then as people will be mingling, he'll soar around these crowds as if they're circles in the sky, and with a sudden movement he'll swoop down straight from out of some unseen cloud and be asking you if you could please help him out with the communion. The most peculiar thing about him, is that he is black. And what I mean by that is that in most Churches of Christ or the ones that I've been to, it's awfully hard for anyone of any darker complexion to sneak up on anybody. Even if you were to walk in late and sit down in the back and the whole audutorium was filled up and the one black person was on the front row, you would immediately see him...for he would be the only head rocking back in forth actually feeling the music. But for some strange reason, this Hawkeye can just warp himself in the middle of whatever social group unawares, and take off all the strapping gentlemen to the kitchen, where he tells us which persons go on which rows and what song we will sing before all this takes place. The problem with this is that Hawkeye can barely speak above the voice of a whisper. And after Sunday class and before church everyone is talking and bellowing very loudly. You can barely hear the guy. Sometimes you have to go by the guy directly next to you and just copy whatever he does. -That was my first experience.
But today I was getting to be quite a veteran and I didn't have to know a single word that came from his mouth. Just my number and what aisle that number was located at. So Aaron, Sam, and I, went back to our seats remembering our assignments and the trigger song. When the trigger song had begun, the three of us got up in the back of the room to join the others, which were all strangers to me, but were similiarly, singled-out college church-goers with a nice collared shirt.
As soon as i got in my spot, I get kind of antsy and nervous holding my silvery dishes, always fearing that I may trip or screw something up. Right there in front of everybody. A thin layer of nervous sweat on my palms mingle with the cold steel filling of the plates. I look over across the aisles to see who my passing partner is. It's Aaron, and i was relieved that it was somebody that I knew. Then after the prayer, we began.
Most of my lifestyle is that of a relaxed slob, but whenever something like this comes up, I turn into a perfectionist. I always fear doing the wrong thing. So I make a strong mental note which plates go down which aisles. About halfway through, Aaron, who I had utmost confidence in, and who was raised in the southern C of C, like myself, begins passing his plates down the same aisles that I had just passed one down. I give him a sharp look and a tiny nod for you can't gesticulate with your arms very wildly calling attention to yourself, and you dare not yell! But, I kid you not, the boy looked directly back at me and smiled and then shrugged his shoulders. He did it intentionally! Then he contiunued to do so with the other aisles, not caring which aisles had the plate coming towards him or not, he would just nonchalantly hand them one of the plates he had and before long you had all these people smirking as two plates began to meet one single confused person in the middle of the aisle. Everyone knows that if there were 10 Commandments for how to pass communion out, "Thou shalt not pass out to the same aisle from different sides".....would be Commandment #1. But for some reason Aaron, didn't seem to think that it mattered. Maybe this was his way of not getting picked next time by Hawkeye. Just mess things up bad enough and he won't ever swoop down and make you volunteer ever again. I guess, we'll find that out next week.


Blogger Jovan said...

That's great!

Today Eric was speaking at the men's luncheon and I hid his notes under the podium.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Bobby Garner said...

"haha" Just doesn't cut the mustard as to how hard I'm laughing right now. It just so happens that I was #1 that morning. That's right. I'm a fellow college communion cadet. There is actually an entire legend of Hawkeye. Have you ever noticed that he is always at church? No one sees him come. No one sees him go. If you start thinking about it too much, you just get freaked out and eat Chinese food.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Jesi said...

Ha ha, you Harrisons. Everyday events become action/adventures of epic proportions when you tell them.

4:36 PM  

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