It's a Mystery
In my opinion, there are certain things that should work in exactly the same way - wherever you happen to be, home or abroad. Microwaves. Buying train or bus tickets. Showers and Shower Curtains. How many times have I tried to avoid getting soaked in cold water, only to scald myself, or flood the bathroom? How are you supposed to know that if you turn a lever, the lovely warm water gently falling on your feet will change to the force and voracity of Niagra from above your head? Definitely at the top of my list, would be anything to do with Public Conveniences of any kind.
I am extremely grateful for the fact that the Public Convenience Experience, has vastly improved since I was a child. In those days it was simple. You knew what you had to do, got on with it as quickly as possible, and got out as soon as you could. It’s not so simple these days. Take washing your hands, for instance. Gone are the days when you just turned on the tap. Now you wiggle your fingers under things only to find your hands covered in soap, then water and finally a blasted with hot air. All very easy – once you get the hang of it. The trouble is, the next Public Convenience you go to doesn’t work like that! There you are waving your hands under everything you can find, like a demented flapper about to launch into the Charleston, only to find that this Public Convenience doesn’t work like that! What you should have been doing was pushing things with your feet. How are you to know? Nobody tells you! You’re just supposed to pick it up. Recently, in Italy, there were helpful instructions written on the loo seat. The only trouble was, I couldn’t read them. How was I to know that the seat would automatically spring upwards, if you didn’t sit on it quickly enough, and then squirt you with antibacterial spray?
Apart from being able to laugh about it with Lovely Husband (who of course, can read Italian, and thought it was hilarious) it does make one feel rather stupid and a tiny bit vulnerable.
And I expect a lot of people feel exactly the same about church. After all, how are most of us supposed to know what to do, which book to use, which page to turn to, how the tune goes, what the words mean, what the offertory is, when to sit, kneel or stand, and why’s she dressed like that? So much of what we do is a complete mystery to so many. Yet I believe that every one of us was made to love God and to worship him, and my hope and prayer is that all our churches will welcome and enable everyone to do just that.
Enjoy the warmer weather and the lighter evenings – and seek out the presence of God who made you and loves you,