A Hopping Saturday Night
I was begged all week long to go see their show. It didn't cost a lot of money, but was a half hour drive. I decided to relent on Saturday evening.
My husband watched Sammy while Azure and I went to see the Power Team.
The Power Team is a Christian group. They break blocks of cement and ice to demonstrate bringing down the barriers between you and God.
I was not raised in the church at all. I am not comfortable in the church. I fear that a lightning bolt will come from somewhere and strike me in the buttocks when I enter.
I do believe in God but he's like that distant uncle in another state you never met and probably never will. You would certainly never dream of asking him for a favor or inviting him over for a barbeque. That would be way too awkward.
We parked in a parking lot near the church and waited for the shuttle.
The shuttle turned out to be a dark red Ford Econoline that had seen better days.
The driver asked us in a cheery Ned Flanders voice, "Do you know who this van belongs to?"
"Who?" we asked.
"JESUS," he replied.
Oh shit, my lips were quivering. I was trying so hard not to laugh and I so badly wanted to ask him if Jesus had to get a driver's license like everybody else.
Azure made it even worse. She asked, "Have you seen him?"
Yeah, Azure, sure he has, peeking in the damn window like that Burger King commercial!
Thank goodness the guy wasn't offended. He said while he hadn't seen Jesus in person, he had seen him in the face of his son.
We arrived at the church quickly and he helped us out of the van. We were half an hour early. I wanted the good seats. There were bibles in the seats and I moved them. Then I wondered if I had committed a breach of etiquette. Do Christians save their seats with bibles? A half hour of Azure's questions were the price for getting the seats in front.
"Mom, why does that sign on the wall say, Behold the lamb? Why does that sign say God is great?"
"Because, Azure we are in a church."
"Don't you see the pews? People come here to worship."
"What's worship mean?"
A family came and sat next to us. The lady in the family smelled like she had smoked a pack of cigarettes on the way and tried to cover the smell with cheap perfume. Yay, two of my unfavorite smells in the whole wide world!
She hugged a lot of people while she was there. As bad as she smelled I wondered if she was marking her turf like a dog.
The world's longest half hour passed and then ten more minutes for good measure. Finally the show started. There was music and everyone had to stand up. Then we had to do this cheerleader type routine.
Say "J" - "J!"
Say "E" - "E!"
Say "S" - "S!"
Say "U" - "U!"
Say "S" - "S!"
"What does it spell?"
Then the guy on the stage started yelling more stuff.
"Who is the savior?"
"Who died for your sins?"
"Who has his own red van?"
(Okay, I threw that one in there.)
Then the show started. These men were huge weightlifters. They smashed blocks of ice, one of them with his head. They blasted through concrete. Lots of stuff was blasted.
Then they started blowing up hot water bottles. One guy exploded his pretty quickly but the other one kept blowing and blowing. His neck was purple. I feared he was going to meet his maker right there. Finally it exploded. I jumped about a foot as the noise sounded a bit like that lightning coming for me.
Then the preaching started. One of the men told a story that was cute. After that though, he started talking about how the only way to be saved was to accept God into your heart.
Azure gave me a stricken look as if she were about to cry. I wasn't sure if it was because the sermon was going on so long or because she realized that she was going straight to hell thanks to me.
At last, the show started up again. Iron rods were bent. Phone books were torn in half. One guy took frying pans and rolled them up like tacos.
There was a new guy that looked like a Bubba to me. His name was actually Tony, but he'll always be Bubba to me. He was having trouble bending the iron rod.
The lead man kept extolling the crowd to cheer for him.
I wondered if throwing my bra at him would help or if he would have a heart attack on the spot.
Basically the show consisted of demonstrations interspersed with preaching and fund raising.
It was a good show. The men were amazing.
When the show was over, Azure and I went back to the shuttle van and got a lift.
On the way home I was switching radio stations and heard the something I had NEVER heard. Johnny Cash was singing, "I'll make you a believer."
I was already switching to another station, and wondered if I'd heard correctly. I switched back in time to hear:
"Reach out and touch faith, reach out and touch faith, reach out and touch faith."
It was like God was saying, "You'd better watch it Missy."
Did I ever mention Faith is actually my middle name?
Man, the Saturday nights are wild around here, I tell ya.