We are having our church picnic tomorrow. The men of church will be grilling and the kids will be playing and everyone be having fellowship and good times. Memories will be made.
Planning my shopping list for making my momma’s potato salad, I got to thinking back about other times at church when the congregation would come together and break bread, solve the issues of the day, and laugh and oh be joyful one with another.
I remember the mothers of the church, dressed in Sunday splender, each with a clean pressed apron folded neatly over their arms and every one carrying a cardboard box, inside each of which would be culinary masterpieces no TV chef today could ever duplicate.
Simple dishes lovingly made from gardens meticulously kept. All covered and wrapped in tea towels, the food within still warm from the stove. Slow and steady walked these women, lest one drop, one crumb be spilled.
We children ran in circles with our heads down, for woe betide the child who scuffed a shoe, ran through a puddle or worse, fell in the dew damp grass and arose with a (gasp) stain! Neither blue suit pants or white knit tights could hide the sin of dirtying up your Sunday best. And no Grandmother would let such behavior go unchecked. They had the tendency to want to get to the seat of matter, so to speak.
Songs ran long on such Sundays. Just knowing that in dinning hall, right behind the choir loft, there were cakes and pies and banana puddings set every kid to fidgeting in their seats, turning and staring at the clock over the church front door and through sheer force of will, pushing the hands of the clock to go faster, all to no avail.
And then the pastor rose and every child sank low in the pew, eyes rolling to heaven for we all knew only God could save us now. Every word rolled slow and deliberate, every pounding of the fist struck like the dead bell knelling, and every AMEN just drew out the space between the tick and the tock of the too slow clock.
And Just when your stomach was preparing to eat your backbone and all hope was just about to be abandoned…
“A—men!, (Let the church say) A—-men! (Let the church say) A—-men, Amen, Amen”
The song rang out like a glorious reprieve. The Choir marched down from the loft and surrounded the alter, the deacons stood and clapped their hands, the pastor clapped and stomped his feet.
And we children, risen like Lazarus, clapped and stomped and sang too. For with the benediction came the blessing and with the blessing came chicken, ham, greens, potato salad, and that most holy sacrament of church day feasting…
Gramma’s Real Butter Down Home Just Right Pound Cake
Let the Church say AMEN!!!!!