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Friday, July 01, 2005

Preach It!

Yesterday was my last day at the office, and it got off to a great start: as I was on the train to work, a woman in my car suddenly started testifying. Prophesying. Speaking in tongues. And calling out for someone named “Seego, Seebo—something like that. Are you hear today Seego? Someone in this car is named Seego.”

And of course, some credulous woman took the bait, and said yeah, actually, that’s her brother. (And I was wondering: Seagull? Seigel? C-Go?) So the prophet, as she identified herself, walked over there and pointed out the passage in the Bible that had brought her the name of this guy, and earnestly told her and her companions that God had a message for him, and God works in mysterious ways.

And at first I was all, MY GOD, this is funny—pretending to read my magazine as I kept an eye on the prophet—but she kept going as the car became jammed full of people at the next few stops, calling out in some unknown language that sounded like mangled Greek (ekkalousia ekka thanous thalus), punctuated by reminders to all of us that God got us up this morning, and God has a mission for us, and he is El Shaddai, and he is the Rose of Sharon, and he wants us to be strong like the cedars of Lebanon—and you know, ultimately there was something strangely compelling about her performance and its complete self-assurance.

As a Catholic, I haven’t had much exposure to the Pentacostal tradition, and I don’t think it would really work for me spiritually, much less intellectually—but even on a damn subway car at 9.15 it can be undeniably affecting on some deep and emotional level.

So okay, shine on you crazy pentacostal diamonds. At least I understand the appeal of that devotional mode. What I DON’T get is the appeal of those horrid come-as-you-are suburban amphitheatre churches with bad anodyne rock music and messages of generic uplift and self-satisfaction, where no one is challenged to do much of anything (except maybe sign the occasional petition protecting the sanctity of marriage or bring a sad lost friend to fellowship night).

* * * * * * * *

But anyway—to sum up: last day of work was good. Got taken out to lunch, and after work joined a drinks thing that was actually intended to celebrate a full-time employee’s departure, but as she’s one of my favorite people there and we’re friends/friendly with all the same people, it was a nice way of chatting and catching up with people whom otherwise I wouldn’t have had much of a chance to say goodbye to.

Sad to leave, but one of my editors is pledging to get me invited to the Christmas party, and I’m trying to get the head of my group to hire a friend as my replacement—so I’m managing to feel as though I’ll be able to stay connected if I want to.

link | posted by La Lecturess at 12:11 PM |


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