Saturday, August 30, 2008

Warning? What warning???

Yup, that's a sign up in the sanctuary of the church I attend. In the middle of the main aisle - by "middle" I mean that there is as much space behind this sign as you see in front of it.

I understand why that warning is there: there is almost always some kind of maintenance going on there. Painting. Bulbs being replaced. Cleaning. As you can see, it's a massive space with a lot of technical stuff on the platform. No one wants to get hurt. And the church doesn't want to get sued if someone goes sprinting down the aisle, leaps onto the platform, and then falls to his or her death.

Seriously, that sign is there. In the sanctuary.
Warning trespassers to stay behind the ropes.

Who me? You mean that sign refers to me? Ha, ha.
I stroll past that sign and approach the stage.
Fearless. Undaunted. Unimpressed. Unintimidated.

I climb those stairs, approach the lectern on the right (in the photo above), and lay one of the pew Bibles before me. I gingerly place my camera there and take a quick photo.

And I shudder as I think of it:
I will stand in that pulpit at approximately 10:15 tomorrow morning next to
Jorge Prado, the pastor of the Spanish congregation of our church,
and I will translate the main Sunday morning sermon for him
from Spanish into English.
In front of as many as 3,000 people.
That's if they all show up... which they probably will not since it's Labor Day weekend.

In any case, in a church where women approach the microphone only to sing,
I will stand with a mike strapped to my head and
speak, read, pray, and show them what women can do in the pulpit.

I'd better make the most of that moment because I am convinced that it is the first and last time a woman will be allowed to stand there on that auspicious platform and speak truth.

I'd better make the most of that moment because I am convinced that,
in a country where a woman may very well become the next vice president
and, if something should happen to the commander in chief,
she could indeed be sworn in as the President of these United States of America,
my time at a church that allows women to approach the microphone only to sing is getting shorter.


Shelby said...

Great post. Good luck with your interpreting and hugs to you. Keep forging ahead of the warnings. Whose warnings are they anyway - and why, no really why? Warnings put there just because of fear of having to pay IF something happens? On so many levels, your reflections get my mind churning on all things imbalanced. It's great to be challenged. You go girl.

Amy said...

There is much symbolism and quite a few metaphors in these photos, Gail. I'm glad you took the change (or seized the opportunity!) and crossed the barrier.

Jennifer/The Word Cellar said...

I haven't been by here as much as I would like, but am glad I stopped by and saw this post. How did it go?