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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Skipping Sunday School

I have vague memories of Sunday school and some not-so-vague. I remember not wanting to be there - I think I was 6 or 7. The things we were doing seemed odd and incomprehensible, but then what doesn't at that age? I seem to remember making etchings of the gravestones out in the cemetery next door to the church - some of them dating to the 1700's, and the teacher pulling on a cord in the ceiling which turned on a speaker so we could hear a portion of the sermon being given to our parents. The only thing that I vividly remember happened one of those Sundays. 
My mother was teaching a Sunday School class and I was content to have her there despite my misgivings. I had raised my hand to go to the bathroom, and after finishing, I walked back to the class. 2 other teachers were in the hallway, one I had just passed and the other was suddenly in front of me. "Where are you going?" she asked (actually demanded). My 6 year-old brain couldn't do much more than  point weakly in the direction of my class, to which she said, "Aren't you supposed to be in this class?" pointing to a completely different room. All I could do was mumble, "m-my mom is the teacher." And as I stared walking away from this stern disciple, she called out to the other teacher in the hallway "Get him!"  I was marched off crying to a foreign classroom against my will.  That left an indelible impression on me to where I can still remember that line with a wry smile today. Get him, indeed.
So, while hunting for treasure this weekend, I came across an estate sale that was wrapping up and closing down. AVA and I made a bee-line for the books and looked through several shelves before coming across a bible. I often look through bibles as obvious sources of mementos tucked  between the pages, the older the bible the better, but I'll look at anything. These are not usually the best found items, but every now and again you come across things like this:
Well, it looks like an innocent greeting card, until you read the caption on the bottom.  There's Billy happy, carefree and clearly skipping Sunday School, going off to the park to play ball with the neighborhood blasphemers. I realize it could have another meaning, but this one seems to play on the guilt one might feel by choosing a leisure activity over time with the lord.  I liked the back of this gentle reminder even better. "Post Card" looks as though it has been written by the Lord Himself:
So I may have added a little something to this card, but can't a guy try to live his life without someone from the church catching him between 3rd and Home and saying "Get him!"  Friendly reminder or veiled threat? I wonder if that old Sunday school marm had something to do with this?

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