Posted: February 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

If we had a belfry you could say we had bats in it, but we have no belfry. Even if we did we couldn’t say we had bats be cause there was only one. And the one bat came to worship last Sunday and chose the best seat in the house, way up near the rafters of the ceiling. Of course he was added to the attendance count.

It’s a safe assumption that he is not a bat out of hell, since he has been church shopping and all. And like other visitors who walk through our doors our members greeted him with a measured hospitality. Welcome, they said, looking him over twice. You’re not from around here, are you?

The children were another matter. Anything that spices up church is a good thing. Where is he? What’s he going to do? Will he dive bomb some matriarch and get tangled in her hat?

It’s hard to see church through a visitor’s eyes. We’re so used to being here. Everything is so normal, so as it is. But what is it like to be new, when everything is seen or heard for the first time? Some things you can only discover through an exit interview, a good conversation about what it was like. So as I talked to the winged rodent, we hung upside down together, me off the coat rack and him from the top of the heater vent.  I asked how his experience was.

The organ was a bit intimidating, he said. Big sounds, big echoes. He really didn’t know where it was all coming from or if he needed to move, get out of the way. He was used to people talking, but not making noise at the same time, singing and praying and such. I don’t think he was just being polite when he said that, overall, it was a good experience.  He spent most the time just being an observer, just listening. When I asked if he might come back he was a bit noncommittal. He wasn’t sure if he really fit in with our crowd and really couldn’t know without a few more visits. Of course, you’re always welcome, I said. Inclusion and diversity are important to us, I explained. And what’s more, you have to know how much you blessed us with your presence.

They say flying things remind people of the spirit. And you never know when it might appear, even in church.

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