This morning I walked into the glorious St. Thomas Cathedral and made my way to one of the empty pews to the right of the Sanctuary. (The ones on the right are short and only sit 3!) I dropped my sock hat, my scarf and my gloves, closed my eyes and opened my ears and heart to the beautiful boys choir chorale sound filling the temple.
"Ahhh, this is nice." I cleared my mind and prepared for prayer.
Enter coughing couple.
They sat noisily down beside me and began working the Sunday program over with the gentle touch of Sasquatch and his bride, accompanied by their whispers that were as subtle as two large gas leaks. I suppose their ears were stopped-up and they couldn't hear the amazing amplitude at which their bulletin-crinkling and whispering was cranking. Then came the coughs.
Now, I'm all for people coming to church, as I grew up in a house where some part of your body had to be bloody to miss church.
However, when you grow up, I don't think the Good Lord minds your staying home if you can't take a half a breath without coughing up huge amounts of snot or if you have to fan your sweaty brow with the bulletin in 30 degree weather, therefore fanning your plague-vapors into the direct path of my breathing apparatus. Because, my friends, I do so love the smell of sick breath. I love it so much.
But see, that's just my plight. I seem to have been born with something of a magnet for the sick, smelly and uber talky. I have yet to take a train or a subway in NYC without much of my personal space being unwillingly forfeit, not to mention forfeiting acceptable breathing conditions.
I know, I know. God loves us all, every smelly one. And I'm probably a big jerk for not being so welcoming but... a bath never hurt nobody, nor does staying home from church when all you are going to do is sneeze, cough, and complain in loud septic whispers. To make matters worse, the tremendously irritating lady emitting the bubonic fumes couldn't see the pastor unless she leaned slightly my way.
So there we sat: Me glued to the side of the pew and Lord and Lady iron-lung leaning over me, whilst she fanned her foul breath into the care of my immune system. I finally had to put my program directly to my face to block the assault of her breath.
I prayed half the service that I wouldn't be drinking after her when we took communion. When the usher motioned for our row I bolted to the altar and eyed over my shoulder to make sure I had beaten Lady GaVirus to the cup.
How's that for a worshipful attitude?