Well as you know we've been battling the stomach virus. On Saturday Daddy was hit with exhaustion and stomach pains (nothing else...thank goodness). So on Sunday morning the decision about church attendance came up. To go or not to go.....
I have a few thoughts:
1. It is sooo easy to get out of the routine of attending church.....for some it's the only day off. For pastor wives, it's our husbands' busiest day, so things around the house can get a little nutty (especially getting three little ones in decent, clean clothes and out the door during morning naptime). So even on a trip, I think it's soo important for our family to attend church.
2. Maybe tied to the #1 reason. But I want my children to understand that because we want to grow in the Lord and have fellowship with other believers, we make it a priority to attend services and functions.
3. There are a few exceptions :) And one is sickness, it's just not possible to attend if the children are sick. And I think it's not good to attend if they are contagious- why infect other sweet people!!
OK. Besides Daddy sleeping through the day on Saturday, no one had shown any signs of being sick. So we made a decision to attend church this morning. But we were determined to keep some distance from people and watch the kids like hawks about spreading germs. ( Amazing enough the other children did not attend the church this morning, so we didn't even get close to other kids.)
We travelled to a little church where Granddaddy was to preach. It's a very small church, but very sweet and welcoming!! The main way to keep our distance was to not shake hands. Boy, oh boy!!! I never realized how uncomfortable and awkward it would be........
The worst part was during the service where members and visitors greet eachother with a handshake. We were the only "visitors" and so many people came up to us with an open hand:) We immediately told them that we couldn't shake their hands because we had been sick and didn't want to pass any germs. Some immediately stepped back, some thanked us and welcomed us with their arms crossed and others just didn't know what to do.
The funniest thing was that the last person to approach us was a very sweet and quiet older lady. she reached out her hand to kindly welcome us and we told her that we'd been sick and didn't want to pass any germs. She just kind of looked at us and said something of a greeting. Since the greeting time had ended she got back to her seat. I looked over to where she was seated and she leaned forward to a younger lady infront of her and said,"That couple doesn't shake hands." The lady she asked was in our Sunday school class and had heard that we had been sick and was able to explain it quickly to her.
Although I wished I could have greeted this sweet church body as they were accustomed....we are thankful that none should get sick. But it was very interesting to see people's reactions!! Maybe rubbing elbows might have been more appropriate :)
"...not forsaking our own gathering together, as it is the habit of some but encouarging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near." Hebrews 10:25