To confound me even more in Switzerland. I go to the Catholic Church here, as there is one on every corner. To get to my denomination, people in the USA keep saying, “oh there is a church in this town, or that one!” I politely smile and refrain from asking them to take out a map and actually look at the distance, much less the country "near" switzerland.
Yesterday, I am sitting there with my English prayer book, I understand the basic structure of the service, but I am lost with what is actually said. I even have decided to try sing along with all the folks so I can lean phonetics pronunciation, while at the same time committing the sin of, "thou shalt not murder" with my poor vocal ability.
When they get to the gospel, some of the words in German actually make sense. My brain started replaying the story Jesus's first miracle in my English memory. You know the one where his mom asks him, "Son, can you please turn that water into wine." laugh if you wish. I was really stoked. i actually understood something! it was like stepping back to my childhood where they argued about Slavonic vs English in church. As a kid i was like, " We are in the United States, why can't we just speak one language - english! Arent' we in a cold war with the USSR?"
i knew it was time for the collection plate to be passed as everyone dug into their pockets in unison. as i waited for the basket to come my way, I watched one father give his little boy seated in the section in front of us a coin. The little guy was all super excited. He had some coins to put in the basket. At least that is what I thought.
A few moments later, I am trying to pray and get some peace when I see the little head in front of me slowly turn around as if to sheepishly look back to see if his father was watching to play the game of, “should I pocket this nifty coin? Or put it in the collection plate?”
His dad must have known his son all too well?
I didn’t need to understand German or any other language to understand the universal hand/eye signals the father gave the young lad. It was something like, “Son that is not your money, you put that into the basket, or, you can see how long you can live with no oxygen supply to breath. The choice is yours.” (I had to take the creative Hollywood liberty with the entire fear and wrath of old testament god)
The little boy actually took a second to think about the options and the collection basket came closer to him. As the basket got to his hands, the lad looked into the basket, as if to see how much was in there. He was probably thinking, “gee god, there is plenty here, can I keep this?”
Somewhere from deep from within his soul, the young boy must have known he needed oxygen to breathe more than the coin.
I heard a “clunk” sound as the lad put the coin in the basket.
I could not help myself.
I laughed out loud, in church.
Even in church I can’t seem to get it right.