Slouching toward salvation.

The last three mornings, I’ve woken up freakishly earlier for no apparent reason. Yesterday and today, I took advantage of the weekend and promptly went back to sleep. It felt decadent, but it also left me feeling sort of out of it and slow.

But this morning I didn’t let myself be a total slob. I cleaned myself up and made it to church … for the first time since Easter. Yeah, I know.

During the first hymn, I noticed a woman four rows ahead of me. She was wearing a patterned linen dress – the kind that uptight women buy for full price at department stores and see as examples of their creative sense of style.

Obviously, I totally had God in my heart this morning.

I imagined she was wearing sensible shoes. And then I imagined that the man sitting next to her looked a lot like Creepy Stalker Guy. Except … that it was Creepy Stalker Guy!

He had mentioned to me that he and his sister were shopping for churches and had really liked my church. In a city of a gazillion churches, they were sitting four rows ahead of me.

When the hymn was over, I scooted over a seat so that I was directly behind him and obscured by a very pregnant woman. And then, I proceeded to freak out.

On Friday, Creepy Stalker Guy had both texted me the message “Hi” and sent me an e-mail through that said, “So, have you met a great guy yet?” The one-two punch made my skin crawl. It had been about 10 days since he’d last texted me, so I was hoping he was gone. Alas, no such luck.

I considered walking out of the church. I was sitting in the back, so it could be done with no disruption. But then I just got mad. Dammit, I actually got my ass out of bed and dressed and to church on time for once. I was going to stay. What’s the worst that could happen?

The worst that could happen is that he would approach me after the service and I’d call him out in front of his sister. I would say, “You need to stop contacting me. You have shown a total lack of respect for me and my wishes. We aren’t friends, because friends don’t act like that. You offered to pay me to go out with you. That’s sick.”

And then I would look his sister in the eye and say, “This is a problem.” And then I would walk away.

I worried all service. And then I realized that I was sitting next to a handsome older man who was sitting alone, and worst case, I could take his hand and pretend we were a couple. A couple who came to church together after spending Saturday night together. A couple, as in two, as in no room for Creepy Stalker Guy!

So, I had a plan for this service. But what about next time I come to church (which, at the rate I’m going, will be Advent)? Am I going to cower?

Hell to the no. I have a plan. And that plan is applicable anytime.

The final song of the service was Corner of the Sky, from Pippin. It’s an amazing song, and seemed strangely fitting:

Rivers belong where they can ramble
Eagles belong where they can fly
I have to be where my spirit can run free
Gotta find my corner of the sky

And so, when the service was done?

I ran free! I high-tailed it outta there and didn’t look back. I walked down the street and did some shopping. I bought some great clothes for work and bargained that man right outta my hair.

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