Monday, January 09, 2006

Why I'm Going to Hell

Dating Part 2 will come t'm'row. But first, an aside.

So...I've been trading stories with a friend of mine lately, and I told one that was so good, she thought I should share it with the world. Maybe this could be my opportunity to start a meme - people are always on the receiving end of them, but I never see any of them start. You could tell your best fish out of water story, or a gaff from childhood that would get you into real trouble as an adult; or, better yet, answer this question: are you going to heaven, or hell, and why? (Though that seems a bit serious.)

Anyway, the story:

When I was about 8 or 9, I pretty much lived at the house of my best friend Bill. He and I went to different elementary schools, but we always hung out together, usually playing a lot of sports, which he always seemed to win - he's one of those annoying good-at-everything types. He was also one of those advanced kids - teaching you new things about sex (which half of the time were wrong) or new bad words. (This was probably because he had two older sisters, one of whom frequently had boyfriends around the house who thought we were the coolest.) And his family always introduced us to new hip things - their instincts are uncanny. Now the term "Dr." is in front of his name, and he's got a beautiful wife and a beautiful house, and he looks like Tom Cruise.

Anyways, we frequently had sleepovers, usually at his house. One Saturday night our parents decided that I would stay over at Bill's and then we would go to a baseball game the next day. Being a huge baseball fan at the time, I jumped at the chance.

One sticking point: the day of the game was Sunday, and Bill's family was Catholic. No problem - I would just go to church with his family, we'd change in the van, and then we'd go to the game. Simple, right? One problem...I had never been to Catholic Mass before.

We get to the church, and Bill is trying his best to tell me what everything is. We passed a little basin of water on the wall and Bill dipped his fingers in and crossed himself. I just kind of looked. Bill told me it was something that I had to do. I found time later to sneak back and do it.

We sat in the back of the church for the mass, inexplicably away from his parents. Bill told me when to kneel on the...kneeler, when to pray, what to sing, etc. I remember feeling totally lost the whole time. But I did my best to keep up. All of a sudden people were getting in line while singing. Bill got up too, and pulled me up, saying, "I'm going to go get some of the wine. It's really good!"

I was horrified. Bill was talking about ALCOHOL! ALCOHOL was for grown-ups, not kids like me and him! What was he doing? Nevertheless, since he's got one of those compelling, leadership-type personalities, I got up and followed him in line. I was really nervous...I didn't know what to expect.

As I got closer to the front, I noticed that the priest at the front of the line didn't have a cup; rather, he was giving people what looked like little white cards. (I remember feeling relieved at this, since I wasn't going to have any ALCOHOL.) And the men and women who received those cards bowed their heads, and then as they walked away they placed them in their mouths - actually, I thought, under their tongues. My family had stopped going to church regularly a couple of years before, but I never remembered seeing anything like this before. Of course, when I got older, I realized that the line I was in was to receive Communion - the wafer representing the body of Christ, and the wine His blood. At the time, however, I was a little nervous about putting something so cardboard-like in my mouth. I knew that white people did things differently than us black folk, but this was a little ridiculous. The simple thing to do, of course, would have been to get out of the line and go back to my pew. But I already felt out of place, and I didn't want to do anything to call attention to myself. So I stayed on, continuing my march forward.

As I reached the front of the line, the priest smiled at me, as adults do towards children, you know, to make them feel important, and handed me the wafer. I have no idea what was going through his mind at the time. Because I didn't want to be rude, I took it, and as I walked away I pushed the wafer towards my mouth as if I was going to put it in. But, being a clever little boy, I managed to palm the wafer and put it in my pocket!

By the way, in case you didn't know, you can't receive Communion in a Catholic church without having been confirmed by the Church. I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's a pretty big sin. And what happened next was an even bigger sin. I sat through the rest of the service, and then, as we walked back out to the van, I decided (much like with the basin of water) that I should at least try and do something. I put the tiniest bit of wafer into my mouth. My suspicions were confirmed - it tasted like nothing, or white bread. I couldn't leave the thing in my pocket, and my hand was getting sweaty from carrying it. So I did what any 8 or 9 year old would do...I left it on the ground in the parking lot.

Yes, that is correct: I threw away the body of Christ.

I'm hoping that, when I get to the gates of Heaven, the Lord will cut me a break for that one.


Lewis said...

Hey, if he can forgive me for this and this, then you're in.

April said...

Not sure whether you're serious about all this or not...but there are a lot of things that can be forgiven!

Not so sure I'm headed to heaven when I go either...;)

Melissa said...

Ok, um, I haven't even finished reading your post yet... just had to say that I still have a wicked crush on Bill. Even after he was such a turd to me at college that first semester (have I told you about that blast from the past? he had grown his hair out and it was long and shiny and... I'm getting worked up). He's too cute for his own good. And yes, I have since Googled him. Laugh, K, go ahead... laugh.

Ok, back to reading your post now. I am such a dorkwad.

Melissa said...

OK, now I can't stop laughing at you and your little boy antics.

P.S. He's way better looking than that whacked out couch-jumper.

My GAWD is it hot in here?

Miss Fire said...

See you in hell, K. I spit the blood of Christ back into the cup. As a 10 year old Baptist, I was unaccustomed to the taste of red wine, didn't like it, so I gave it back. Whoops!

Lady Wyntir said...

~still laughing~

oh my... that's hilarious.

you will be forgiven for all your sins, so long as you accept God as your one and only saviour....or something like that.

i've not been to church in a LOOOOOOONG time. but i can just imagine a little kid leaving the wafer on the parking lot pavement! how cute is that! hahahahaha

Besides... what's so bad about hell... hee hee


Texasgal said...

Grins, what a cute story. The Bible says that if you believe in your heart that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and confess that with you mouth, asking Him to forgive and save you He will. So luckily, a thrown out wafer doesn't keep you from heaven. (I know you were just joking about the whole issue but if you ever have questions feel free to ask me.)

Anyway, that was funny. ~Sarah (random poster looking for my friend lance's blog and not finding it.)