i have been known my entire life as a "prayer challenge". my aunt kept my name permanently inked in on her prayer list. the list was scotch-taped to the cupboard above the kitchen sink. as she stood and washed her dishes she would pray for the souls of the people on the list. i was the only child to make the list and i was the only one never removed from the rotation. i remember sitting on her kitchen counter, eating molasses cookies and asking her why i was on the list. "because," she would say "you're full of the devil". she always smiled when she said it and in her defense this was probably during my satan art - crayon series. life was a puzzle then, as it is now. but i did my best to find answers, wherever i could.........
when i was around 8, i told a story in sunday school that to my complete surprise, didn't go over well. I don't remember where i came across the marvelous information i was about to unveil but i remember being pretty excited to share it. before we go on, let's make it clear i thought i had come across yet to be released biblical insight. i was so sure my story was true but apparently fact checking was a yet to be acquired skill. i cannot remember the morning of my big announcement but i probably ran the half mile up the road to the church. my patent leather shoes slapping the pavement and my dress flying up i am certain i was there early, sitting in the pew with my "oh my god, i've got a story" look on my face.. i remember i was fairly bursting to get back to the lesson rooms. i loved the warm up songs with all the funky hand movements but this week i was breaking news. once we were in the back and in our classroom, i was off. i cut off whatever lesson the teacher was about to begin - my story certainly had precedence over any loaves and fishes. "EXCUSE ME, did you know?" i started. "on the ark noah removed all the boy animals wankers because he didn't want any fooling around on the voyage." i can tell you, the word wankers and the suggestion of sex on the ark had turned the crowd my way,,,,, but surprisingly this was not my "big news". i'm sure i had a dramatic pause just about then. hell, i probably stood up. "well", i continued , "when the ark landed noah gave everyone back their parts. except he mixed up the donkey and camel's wankers and that's why camels have such small ones and donkey's have such biggies.
waiting for my applause......
whatever i thought was going to happen at this point did not happen. i just remember being so frantic to get this new information out there. the sunday school teacher was not impressed. i was immediately escorted from the room and after a very long, damnation filled talk i was placed on church probation. i apparently posed a risk to the other children's salvation. i was devastated, not for being in trouble, not for getting my ass chewed out but because my story was not going to be written down by a scribe and included in future lessons. they thought i was being a blasphemous smart ass, telling dirty jokes in sunday school. i thought i was a religious correspondent
this theme has repeated over and over again in my life. i am an incredibly slow learner. i love the "tell" - the big reveal. when i got older, i remember thinking, before letting loose, this probably isn't going to end well. but the urge to tell the tale is always too great. and besides personal satisfaction trumps consternation any day.
a historical footnote: my church probation stayed intact till around 11 when i discovered and shared some fascinating info on mary magdalene. i was turfed from sunday school and received a life-time ban from the "young christians" group.