We went to the blessing of our new nephew. A joyous occasion, held in a church hall, attended by a small group of regulars—maybe thirty people—and all of EaZyD’s family.
Even before we got there, EaZyD (my long-suffering partner) and I, we were having a BAD week—building works, new equipment, pins and needles in my right hand—a deterioration disaster. And, as ever, on the day, despite massive effort, we were late which was, annoyingly, not uncommon for us and guaranteed to really bug some of the family.
We crept into the back of the room, as much as you can in an ugly wheelchair that smashes into all the doorframes and requires rearrangement of the four rear rows of seats! Perhaps no one would notice us!
The service had started, and continued, with much gospel-type singing and relating of miracles. Religion is not really my thing, but to each his/her own. I began to nod my head along with the music and chill. My mind wanders; I refocus on the hand life was currently dealing us—misery!
I suddenly realize that the Minister is asking who wants to be blessed. I sit in silence but am getting a very bad feeling about this as the Minister, now roaming the room, seems to eye me hopefully—naturally I’m the only person in a wheelchair! I have a horrible suspicion that Faith, EaZyDs mum, a genuine believer has, in all good faith, set us up.
The Minister approaches; I do not catch his eye or look up at all. My worst fears are realized as the Minister says that “as God’s presence is so strong today,” he insists on blessing Faith’s whole family! Sotto voce. I say to EaZyD, “Get me out of here, now.” “How?” he mutters. I wish that I could turn to God to get me out of here …
I feel slightly sick as each individual member of the family is “blessed”—this involves at least three people chanting and singing about how life will be just peachy if God is given free reign! I am wishing that I was anywhere but here. I really do not need this!
EaZyD’s agnostic brother-in-law stands stoically as they tell him how God will look after him if he just asks … and then it was my turn.
Every pair of eyes turn to look at me. How much do I love being stared at in my detested little wheelchair? The Minister starts bewailing my pain and anguish and the terrible times I have had.
Could any of you have said, “Yeah, and this is right up there with them”? Did I want to reveal or discuss my suffering in public? No. With legs, I would have walked. I did not have that option.
As the reality of this flooded into my distressed mind, one of the women in front of me leapt to her feet, screaming, shaking, and crying to the Lord at the top of her voice for “MERCY, MERCY.” She scattered rows of chairs around me.
Thinking, Good grief, how much worse can life get?, I promptly burst into tears. My tightly stretched nerves could take no more. I started praying. Was this never going to end?!
Finally it did and we left, quickly. EaZyD said, “He didn’t bless me for as long as he did you.” I look at him in stunned silence—he was disappointed?!
God, what a day I’ve had.