Well, The One To Be Pitied says, "We're off to church." I'm like, "Here's a check. Pray for me." She replies, "I have faith you'll come." Nothing like a little holy pressure from the big man working through The One To Be Pitied. Well, I grab my bike and ride there. It took me about two minutes. I arrived to the sounds of the congregation singing. It was pretty nice actually. I don't go often. I should, but I'm like a bench player, a utility man, a recurring character, if you will - you know what I mean.
I went inside. Some of the older folks know me. They are sweet. They were smiling. I got a few winks. I winked back. I grabbed a book and started singing along. It's really a lovely group of people.
A short bit later, the sermon begins. The theme had to do with Kindness To Strangers. Our pastor, a lovely woman, began speaking of the tornado ravaged mid-west and a town called Phil Campbell. I hadn't heard the story. Apparently, the town of Phil Campbell, Alabama inspired men [19 men, 1 woman named Phyllis] from across the globe of the same namesake, to come to Phil Campbell to help them in any way they could. How about that? Phil Campbells came to Phil Campbell. She talked of our unified strength and the differences we can make big or small.
She began using the New York Mets as another example. Baseball always gets my attention. She added more about the New York Yankees and the Boston Braves. I thought, "this is incredible." I turned again to look around.
Things got really interesting when the words STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION exited her mouth. I had to look around for a minute. It was surreal. I'm at church and we're about to use Star Trek as part of a life lesson in today's sermon. "Have I died and gone to heaven?," I thought. Is this for real? Am I on Candid Camera? What next Farscape?
She spoke of the Borg and how through assimilation beings are brought into the collective. I sat quietly nodding in agreement. Yes, yes, go on pastor I'm listening. You are right, I like you more than I ever knew. She brought in a Christian spin to her analogy contrasting how we join in union as a collective to achieve great things, but that we retain our own uniqueness and personalities and souls as individuals unlike the Borg. Yes, "I'm so with you" I thought. Honestly pastor, you had me at Borg!
It was terrific and refreshing. Okay, maybe it wasn't Star Trek: The Original Series, but close enough. I glanced over at The One To Be Pitied who looked at me with bug eyes. She understands what excites me. I leaned in and whispered in good humor, "Boy, glad I came today." She did all she could to hold in her laughter.
It was indeed an inspired visit to the local church. As greetings were extended and I exited bidding goodbye to our fair pastor I told her, "Pastor, great sermon today. Any sermon with the New York Mets, current events and Star Trek: The Next Generation is a classic in my book." She laughed and smiled and today it seemed like we knew each other just a little bit better.
The One to Be Pitied told me, "See, that's God." Maybe so. I understand people question faith in all forms and some don't believe at all, but if there is a God, he was speaking to me today and by gosh he was using the dreaded Borg to do it. Clever.