HOLY ROLLERS (Guest Post by Paul Curran)

Another exciting story by everyone’s favorite guest-poster!

HOLY  ROLLERS

By: Paul Curran

PaulCurran

 

I watched with dismay as Frances played “equals” in the upper right second row of the Scrabble board – with the “q” on a triple letter and the “s” on a double word score. That was the last of her letters and scored her a tasty 70 points as she went out. I had 45 points worth of letters left in my rack, and muttered as I deducted it from my score.

Scrabble

Hard To Win When Playing a Wordsmith

Dora leaned forward over the Scrabble board and let out a little chuckle: “You’ll have to do better than that next time if you’re going to beat our Frances, Paul.”  And, indeed Frances had chalked up another win.

This was our usual Saturday evening activity as I visited Dora and Zach, retired immigrants from South Africa, and their friend Frances. Frances was a writer and prided herself on her vocabulary and wordsmithing – and she was good. Dora spoke 8 languages and was the worst speller I had ever encountered – she enjoyed watching the games of Scrabble, but refused to participate. Dora poured us fresh coffee as Frances set up the board and tiles for the next game. When we had started this a year ago, I was lucky to win one in 10 games – now I was winning a bit less than half the time, but the games had grown much more competitive, and I had try my hardest and avoid any slip-ups to win.

Dora, as usual provided the conversation: “Paul would you be willing to help us with a favor?

As I took a sip of coffee I asked: “Sure Dora what can I do?”

Dora; “Our Synagogue needs some repairs, so we are doing a raffle and need help in selling tickets.”  Here she produced about 10 books of printed tickets. “Can you take these 10 books of 5 each and sell them for us to your friends and co-workers? They are a dollar per ticket or a book for 3 dollars.

Me: “No problem, how long do I have?”

Dora: “If you could bring the money back when you come next Saturday, that would be great.  If you need more tickets then, I’ll have more for you.

She passed over the 10 books, and I stuffed them in my coat pocket.

Holocaust Children

Children at Auschwitz

I caught a glimpse of the Nazi Death Camp tattoo on the inside of her wrist as she passed the tickets. Dora had been a young Russian Jewish girl in Germany when the Nazis raided their home and carried her and her family off to the Death Camps. She lost all of her relatives to the gas chambers, but she was singled out by a doctor to be a subject for experiments on her reproductive system. The damage was irreversible. She was a filthy, gaunt, starving teen when the Allies freed her Camp. Attached to the Allied force was a young Afrikaner South African intelligence officer by the name of Zach. He was smitten by the poor starving Jewish girl and nursed her back to health and then married her.

 

South African Farm

Dutch Style Afrikaner South African Farm

They set up a farm in South Africa, where they lived for many years. Zach became a chemical engineer, and they travelled all over the world for his work. When they retired, the political scene in South Africa was very bad, and it became dangerous to stay on their farm in a rural area as whites. They decided to emigrate to Canada, which had been their favorite country while travelling. The fact that they were Commonwealth citizens (a loose group of countries that were historically under British rule, and whose citizens enjoy preferential immigration regulations and tariffs) and they were self-supporting made the move easy, regulation wise. Dora only ever spoke once about her Death Camp experiences, when I mentioned that she could have the tattoo removed – and she responded that she wanted it there as a reminder of the hatred in the world that should never be allowed to rise again.

So, on Sunday night I was back at work, hauling a trailer load of rolls from a commercial bakery in Moncton New Brunswick to the sister plant in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I unloaded and reloaded specialty bread products – raisin bread, whole wheat, cracked wheat, etc – and returned to Moncton. I figured that I should try selling my tickets to the drivers and plant staff in shipping when I arrived back in Moncton. The system was set up so that I had the final products needed for the outgoing trailers loading for northern New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.  Consequently, there were about 15 drivers on the dock and 5 shippers waiting when I arrived. After I had backed in and surrendered my paperwork, I started selling tickets to the drivers and shippers.

Congregation Tiferes

Congregation Tiferes Israel Synagogue, Moncton

Unbeknownst to me, one of the drivers – Gary – was a newly minted Born Again Christian. I don’t think the ink was dry on his membership card yet, and his eyes sparkled at the opportunity to wax eloquently on the evils of gambling. And Jews. Sigh. We got into a deep discussion which he was not going to win, as I had studied the Bible over the years and he was just getting acquainted. He railed against the evils of gambling, and I told him that he did not, as I did not, have to consider it gambling. That, in fact, I considered it a donation to a house of God, a place of worship – the same God as he purported to believe in. And that if there were any winnings, they could be donated to whatever cause he chose and did not have to be kept. Quite amusingly, our heated “discussion” intrigued the others on the dock and they all gathered around, soon snapping up all ten books of tickets as they enjoyed the show.

Gary realized the best he was going to do was argue this to a stalemate, so he switched tactics. I had berated him for refusing to donate to a house of his God when they were asking for his help – breaking several of own Christian tenants like giving to those in need and supporting the worship of God. He responded to the taunting by setting a challenge: if my wife and I attended the Bible Study at his church the following Sunday, he would buy 10 books of tickets ($30.) Ha! I agreed immediately, and we shook on it. I got the directions and time, and we parted ways, promising to see each other the next Sunday.

Tiferes Ticket

Donation Anyone?

So, on Saturday, I gave Dora the money from the first 10 books and requested a further 10 books. I told her the story and she laughed, as I pretended to complain about how the Synagogue was getting me into evangelical Bible study. Knowing my propensity to argue, she was giggling over the thought.

On Sunday, my wife, Marie, and I donned our Sunday best and headed out to Bible Study. It was held in the basement of the church, where a good sized room had been set up with about 30 folding chairs and a speaker’s stand at the front. The neat straight rows should have been a warning to me. We arrived a bit early and located Gary, who surrendered the $30 for the 10 books and escorted us into the room. Gary introduced us to a number of couples, as visiting potential members – apparently recruitment was on his mind. They all smiled and shook our hands and gave us a warm welcome – an attitude that was soon to change.

We all took our seats as a young (maybe 35 years old) minister made himself comfortable at the podium. Here the plan started to go awry, as my definition of Bible Study was a discussion group with lots of questions – it turned out that was not their definition. All the “students” sat in neat and even rows with their backs straight and their hands folded neatly in their laps.

Preacher

Yep, he looked just like this.

The minister had just started speaking when he said that God uses the ministry to set up “No Trespassing” signs in life where we were not to go. My hand shot up with a mind of its own, and when he frowned slightly and acknowledged me, I had to ask: “But doesn’t Ecclesiastes say clearly that ‘There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…’?  Doesn’t that suggest that no action is wrong, there is just a wrong place or time for it?

The minister was taken aback to have the Bible quoted at him, and he continued as if I hadn’t spoken, saying that the ministry was used by God to establish “No Trespassing” signs in life.  I looked around to see if anyone else had noticed the lack of an answer to my question and realized they were now frowning at Marie and me. Hmm, not good.

To make a long story short, I did not let their displeasure stop me from asking any questions I had, and I was the only one who spoke other than the minister. He didn’t answer any of my questions.

When the “study” was done – about 40 minutes later – the group arose and, pointedly ignoring Marie and me, moved to another room for cookies and juice. Before we could make it that far, Gary came up to me and suggested that I was no longer welcome and should leave. So, we did.

But I had the money for the raffle tickets and a great story about the time I tried to sell raffle tickets for the Synagogue to a Born again Christian and subsequently got thrown out of their church when I asked questions in Bible Study. Gary never spoke to me again – and would turn his back and walk away whenever our paths crossed. Now Dora, she laughed so hard at the story the following Saturday that I thought she would fall out of her chair. And the Synagogue got their “donation” for building repairs.

But I missed my juice and cookies.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo by Cordelia’s Mom

 

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Paul Curran and I love to hear from our readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com or notcordeliasmom@aol.com

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Images by:  Ticket image by Paul Curran; Cookies/Juice image by Cordelia’s Mom;  click on other images for credit links

This entry was posted in Guest Posters, Paul Curran, Relationships, That's Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to HOLY ROLLERS (Guest Post by Paul Curran)

  1. LOL! Cute story, Paul. I have to laugh, people can be downright ridiculous. How wonderful that you got to meet really interesting friends from South Africa and play scrabble with them. People are amazing, most of the time we have no idea what they’ve been through, what their stories are, but when you get the opportunity to sit down with them, it’s incredible what they have to teach you.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Hi IB! Thanks so much for dropping by for a read. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. You are exactly right – we often define others by how they interact with us, a very narrow definition of a person. When you really sit down for a chat and listen to their stories and their lives, it is astounding. We walk by heroes and the faithful and the downtrodden on the sidewalks every day and don’t have a clue. They are just more faces. There is a Hindu saying that one should look for the face of God in every person. I find it helps.

      Much appreciate your visit and please feel free to drop by anytime.

      Like

  2. Paul says:

    Thank you CM for once again allowing me to guest post here. Love your editing and formatting and thank you for the juice and cookies picture. A very lovely picure taken with your new camera that finishes the post with a flourish. Ha! Well done ( a great improvement over the original photos of your fingers, your foot, parts of the furinture, the floor, the top of your head, and bits of poor Cody). Bwhahaha! I think your visitors should check out your new camera post ( https://cordeliasmomstill.com/2015/01/01/heaven-help-my-readers/ ) to see how much you have improved.

    Like

    • Paul – thank you for the plug! I didn’t want my readers to think I’m totally I inept with a camera – in fact, I’ll be doing a post soon on just that subject.

      Glad you like the final juice & cookie photo. For the benefit of our readers – it took me hours and many, many retakes to get just the right one (still not perfect, but not too bad), but I was Ok with that because I got to eat the cookies afterwards.

      Like

  3. Doobster418 says:

    Another great story, Paul, and very well told. I guess you left that Bible study meeting wearing one of God’s “No Trespassing” signs around your neck. Geez, no wonder you were shunned and not invited back again.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Hey Doob! Glad to see you back from your romp with Art – and in one piece too. Ha! that is funny, around my neck – yep, that about sums it up – no godly people are to tread here. ha! It didn’t exactly break my heart as you know that one of the most irksome qualities i find in religion is exclusiveness – yeah, yeah, you’re right and the other 6 billion of us are going to hell. The probability is more likely the other way around if you ask me. Anyway, it was very funny, if you have that type of humour.

      Thanks so much for dropping by for a read Doob and I’m pleased and honored that you enjoyed the post.

      Liked by 1 person

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  5. julie says:

    I don’t know how you managed to sit through the whole thing Paul. I think I may have left after my first, or second question wasn’t answered. ok, three strikes, and I’m out. I think that is terrible, and rude. I guess the God I believe in is loving and accepting. Welcoming and warm. A teacher and an aid.

    You are a gold mine of stories Paul! I really enjoy reading them, and much thanks to CM for allowing you a platform! 🙂

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Julie No Blog! Welcome. Yeah, I was afraid they might have jumped me, wrestled me to the ground and taken their 30 dollars back. Ha! They were that kind of folk – very righteous. Ha! Thank you Julie for reading, I am honored and I too thank CM for allowing me space here to say my piece (or is that “peace”? – never did figure that out) You should take the opportunities to guest that you have been offered. It will give you a feel for it. I was hesitant at first but people are so kind and I find that I enjoy it.

      Like

  6. julie says:

    Oh and the whole Nazi death camp thing! How ashamed it makes me to be of German decent, or even a human! Then we get to deal with the clowns who have decided it never really happened. WHAT?! It really makes me feel sick….

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Humanity is capable of more terrible things than we can ever imagine. We are also capable of more love and briliance tha we can imagine as well. Unfortunately the two seem inexorably linked.

      Like

    • Outlier Babe says:

      Julie,

      I don’t see why you should be ashamed of your German descent and the evils that were perpetrated by the Germans of the past, any more than I should be ashamed of the white heritage in me for the treatment Africans received in America by whites of the past. We had nothing to do with those people.

      On the other hand, feeling ashamed of being human, though it makes no more sense, for some reason I get. I sometimes feel it, too.

      –O. Babe

      Like

  7. ladyryl says:

    LOL…
    Reminds me of the time I got asked to leave confirmation classes (I was 12ish at the time) for asking the questions they didn’t have answers to, ones that brought the word of god as written in the bible into question. I wasn’t banned outright, but asked to leave for the day for being “disruptive to the other students”. To me it just meant free time to wander and explore… Fantastic post Paul! 😀

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Thanks ladyryl! I’m pleased you enjoyed the post. And thank you very much for dropping in to see us (that’s CM and me – I’m still singular). yes, I found the church very confusing and cold when I was young. It was as if they had this set of rules that I was forever breaking without knowing why, and why bother, when right outside the door was the great big world to explore where questions were welcome. I never saw and still don’t see, the link between religion and the world I live in. Now, God, that is another matter – I can’t see this world existing without a higher power. And if you’ve read any of my other posts you will see that He often seems to influence my world.

      Thanks again for the visit and I hope you drop by for future visits.

      Like

  8. kerbey says:

    Like “oh, snap!” is my guess. You got them in the end. Well, I don’t even want to know what awful things they did to her reproductive system. I wouldn’t want a symbol of hate tatted on my skin, but it sure is a conversation starter. What a unique way to meet a spouse, being freed by Allies. I met mine at…church. Actually at his Bible Study. Seriously. It was at a warm home with chips and queso and we all took our shoes off and sat in comfy spots in a living room and read scripture and talked about how it related to our own life struggles. You should be allowed to ask any questions you want; the Bible confuses me all the time. And you shouldn’t hate another person for not sharing your religion. What an unwelcoming place.

    I don’t think anyone in my church cares about about gambling: I went in three casinos over summer. I do love a loose slot (don’t quote me on that). I don’t love selling those tickets, though. I HATE trying to make people buy stuff. You were awfully nice (and probably pushy) to do that for them.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Hey Kerbey! Thanks so much for dropping by – it is a pleasure to see you, as always. The Nazi Death Camps rank right up there with the most horrendous human undertakings ever. Like i said Dora never spoke of it, but her husband Zach did tell the occassional story about how he found her. It was an unusual way to meet a spouse, wasn’t it?

      Your idea of Bible Study and mine are very similar – I think about informal, round table, questions and discussions, back and forth. I enjoy that and have had many points clarified for me doing that. Their idea of Bible Study was a set of “rules” that one absorbed via lecture. You know most authors and artists of any kind will tell their admirers that a lot of the value in their work lies in the interpretation of the individual – what do YOU see in it? i see the Bible he same way – it speaks to each person in an individual and unique way. That being said, then it becomes obvious that listening to someone else lecture is not helping anyone understand better – it has to be a give and take exchange. At least that’s the way i see it.

      There are a lot of churches that use ticket sales or bingo or other games of chance to raise money for the church and community. They even run gambling tours to casinos for the parishoners. His church was one of the few that railed against gambling. But that was OK – i got the money for the Dora’s synagogue. Ha! I too feel a bit uncomfortable selling tickets – but not so much when it is for a good cause, like church repairs or womens shelters or childrens sports.

      Thanks again for dopping by Kerbey, please come to visit again.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. markbialczak says:

    Did Gary win the raffle? I just knew that was going to be the kicker. Guess not.

    Way to be yourself, Paul. As was everybody else in this illustrative tale of God and man. Well, mostly man. Thanks for shining your light, guest blogger.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Ha! Hey Mark! Great to see you here. That is a good question – I don’t know if Gary won or not. I seem to get into some interesting pickles when it comes to God – it surely keeps my life from getting boring. Ha! I am pleased that you enjoyed the post and I hope that you drop by again. Have a great weekend.

      Like

  10. Aussa Lorens says:

    Great story, unfortunate church people. I feel like I could read forever about Dora and Zach’s lives though.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Thanks Aussa, I’m pleased you enjoyed the story. Dora and Zach were not overly forthcoming in discussing their lives. Between them they had seen the worst of communism (Stalin), the worst of WW2 (Nazi death camps), and the worst of South African apatheid politics. The very fact that they survived at all was a miracle. However, they loved to discuss world events and cultures ,etc. Anytime the topic turned to their own lives, they wou;d change the topic – they had been slammed so many times in life for trusting with info. I was never clear what Dora did – although I know she ran the farm and they had dairy and beef cattle. I think she did some social work as well – she was a very giving person. As a chemist, Zach was still going even though he was in his mid seventies at the time (this would have been late 80’s, early 90’s) and after retirement had devised and patented a paint that never needed to be replaced. The problem with it was that it couldn’t be replaced – Ha! – it binded to the material and hardened so hard, like concrete, that it had to be removed with a jackhammer like device. It had such a smooth industructable surface that it could not be painted over. That may have been OK in an industrial setting, but was never going to make a big splash in the consumer market. And on he went inventing.

      Dora was a Russian Jew, and although she attended synagogue she was very flexible and would work on the sabbath and such. She was not overly fothcoming on her religion either, for obvious reasons. Zach was an athiest and his biggest argument was what kind of Gd would have allowed Dora to suffer what she had? He refused to believe in a God who allowed such suffering to such an innocent person. They were quite a couple. You would have loved them Aussa. They argued continually even though they had been together for more than 40 years. And Dora delighted in strange and off-color stories. She would have loved your blog. She would laugh so hard at a good story that she would have to hold onto the table to keep from falling from the chair.

      Anyway, thanks so much for dropping by for a visit Aussa, and please feel free to drop by anytime.

      Like

  11. Gibber says:

    How horribly sad. Not all of us are like that. They are what the bible would call pharisees I think. I grew up in churches like that. They’ve got it all wrong. There’s nothing wrong with questioning. Where’s what the bible teaches most and that’s love? Sigh. I’ll send you some cookies..

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Cookies! Yum, yum. Thanks so much Gibber for dropping by and for sending cookies. I am sure that not all churches ar like that, I’ve visited some that are very open and welcoming – even of questions. It just struck me as funny that I am not a religious person – although I have a great deal of faith in God – and I ended up getting ejected from an evangelical church for selling tickets for a synagogue. ha! Lots of fun. Indeed I suspect you are right, they would be better Pharisees than congregants.

      Thanks so much for dropping by Gibber and please come by again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gibber says:

        Happy to read your post.
        Yep Evangelical churches are very much like that. Very religious and no God brought in. It hurts my heart.

        Oh I should tell you about this. We (We meaning Hubby and I) went to a very controlling religious church for 10 years. It’s a long story as to why. Anyway..The were on a mission to change my Husband, get him saved in short the agenda was horribly evident. They treated him so badly. One time at a prayer meeting, they were trying to get him to stand up to pray. Now my Hubby being 6 ft 8 does not like to stand up as he stands out. He were hounding him and hounding him implying he wasn’t a man if he didn’t stand up to pray. It got so bad ,that he couldn’t take anymore and he blew. He stood up, looked at the pastor and his wife, told them to F off and walked out. I happened to be in the washroom when that happened. I came back to stunned silence and people crying and coming over hugging me. I had no idea what happened until it was over. I should have left and went to find my Hubby but I didn’t know what to do, I was just so stunned. Just shortly before we left that church for good. I was talking to the pastors wife on Sun. morning and I happened to ask her if she gets out at all for some fun. Well didn’t that set of a fight. She told me I had the devil in me and it was the devil talking to her…blah blah blah..then when she was done and thought it was resolved, she hugged me..Ugh..the only reason I let her is that my legs were buckling and I could hardly stand up. I told her that too. Then she said she was being like a mother to me…Well that church and those situations and many others similar really messed me up. I wish people could just get that it’s about love and not control, abuse and judgement.

        Like

        • Paul says:

          I support your husband 100% in his telling them off and walking out. For me God is personal and I have a hard time finding a church that doesn’t judge. I think every Bible and Koran and any other religious texts should be stamped in big letters inside the cover “FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY” It is obvious to me that these texts were designed to be read and understood personally by each individual, not used as a set of rules to bring others into line and judge them. And every one of these documents actually say that in clear words – thou shalt not judge. And yet it is the most common, unsettling part of every religion I have investigated. Right down to the pastors wife saying you were speaking as the devil.

          I hope you found a church that accepted both you and your husband Gibber. It is wondeful to be a part of a thriving accepting community.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Gibber says:

    Oh and I’m glad the synagog got it’s donation. I wondered if the Christian guy won. 😉

    Like

  13. different pov says:

    I don’t have a different POV on this story. Great writing. Being raised a catholic with religion classes everyday in school for 12 years I get the sitting straight up and being quiet. Our nuns and priests never sounded like that minister. It would of been funny to hear Gary won the raffle. I recently attended my brother-in law’s church and was treated the same way as you when I had obvious questions.
    What makes it a good read is you never know where you’re going in the story and never disappointed when you get there.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Thanks so much for dropping by POV. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. It is true that many churches openly encourage questions. This didn’t though. It was rather amusing in the end and makes a great story.

      I really apprecate your visit here POV and please feel free to drop by anytime.

      Like

  14. idiotwriter says:

    Oh my… so much to relate to here Paul. If I begin, I fear I may not stop!
    I mean – you have Scrabble, cookies, South Africa (that picture…. I will have you know I was MOST homesick this whole last week!! ) Humble people. Judgemental people. Funny people.
    And beautiful message along with it all. What more can we ask for?
    The message for me?
    Humility is far more powerful then our own ‘brilliance’ in ‘knowledge’…but mainly –
    Religion sucks and takes everything that God is away from people instead of giving God to people. Love your comment somewhere about ‘seeing god in the face of everyone’
    Hard to do that in the case of the young bratty I know it all and am a manipulative ass minister 😉
    I SO think ALL we can do is put our ideas out of what we THINK…. .not as some authority of the ultimate truth. HOW can we be so arrogant to think we know ANYTHING – never mind all the rules?
    We hypothesise and it is enjoyable to do so – it does teach – that’s the thing isn’t it Paul?
    Teaching is mutual…can never be one way. And the lessons come in many many shapes and sizes. In unexpected places… and seldom where they are ‘SUPPOSED’ to come from.

    Oh my son is drumming… lol… thought process stops here I declare 😀
    Thanks to you and your lovely hostess for the super read this Saturday morning.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Thank You Belinda for dropping by for a read. It is wonderful to see you here/ The characters in life and how they interact is fascinating isn’t it? To me it’s the power of the story (and the poem and the art ) that helps us to understand and communicate. It seems that an open heart is the best way to take advantage of this process. Just as you saw much in my story that I hadn’t seen there, so too I saw much in your last poem that that surprised you. When we are honest and write/express what we feel, it teaches both us and others. That is the nature of the beast.

      I am pleased that you enjoyed this post Belinda and I hope you will come by again. please say hello to C for me and wish him the best in drumming. Ha! Much to his Mum’s dismay, no doubt.

      Like

      • idiotwriter says:

        I generally love it that he drums. Just SOMETIMES… I have to ask him to stop for a little while (I HATE doing that though)
        Mostly it is a pleasant background sound. I kid you not – he is quite good little drummer boy 😉
        Gives me a spring in my step for daily tasks… but if I am thinking or trying to connect to something else… not able to – I get too involved in his rhythm 😉
        Thanks Paul – lots to learn everywhere from everyone if we are open and honest hey – I like that about humanity… the things I dislike is that often we feel the need to shut off – cos sometimes we have to… oddly – kinda like with me and the lads drumming.

        Like

        • Paul says:

          Juast a part of the mysterious process that makes us who we are. I love Cheeze Whiz (I assume you have that in Enhland – it is a cheese spread of dubious nutrional value) but if I were passing by the manufaturing plant and a million gallon holding tank of Cheeze Whiz broke, Iwould drown in it. – the moral being that now matter how much we love anything (or anyone) there is always a point at which there is too mch. Ha!

          Like

  15. Archon's Den says:

    Great story as usual Paul. Mmmm, Evangelical Christianity and Cheese Whiz – could I have that on toasted rye? 😉

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Hi Archon! I’m pleased that you had the time to drop by for a visit and enjoyed the story. Thank You. Yes, of course you can have it on toasted rye. Ha! You know what my favorite sandwich is on toasted rye? – A rueben. Yum, yum. Ha!

      Have a wonderful day sir and please feel free to drop by again.

      Like

  16. Trent Lewin says:

    Great story, Paul – get that new computer already! I could read this stuff all day long.

    Like

  17. It seems the deeper folks sink into their religion, the more they believe that their particular brand is the ONE TRUE religion and all others are dangerous. My mom did it right. She was a Catholic but never militantly so. She never thought that believing in Jesus was the only ticket to heaven and that non-believers were doomed to hell. She won the game.

    I never play Scrabble. I talk a pretty good game but once you open yourself up to a Scrabble game, the truth is revealed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Ha! Well said Mark. Welcome and thank you for dropping in for a read and a comment. there is a lot of exclusionism in religions and it is the one characteristic that I particularly dislike. Scriptures say over and over and over – do not judge. Personally I think that the Bible and all other scriptures should be stamped “For Internal Use Only”. You Mom sounds like she was a good woman Mark. There is a world of difference between Faith and religion. I’ll stick to the former.

      Thanks again for the visit Mark – I am honored that you came by.

      Like

  18. ~ Sadie ~ says:

    Wow Paul – what an awesome story, and exactly why I don’t go to church. Yes, you were much more patient than I would’ve been & I would’ve let them know, as I was walking out, that due to their rude, obnoxious un-Christian-like behavior I would not be staying to “enjoy” any of their cookies or fake forced fellowship. Dora and Zach sound fascinating. Though on one hand, I would want that tattoo removed to help ease some of the pain and more completely hide my horrific past, but on the other hand, I would feel like Dora. I love what you wrote – “There is a Hindu saying that one should look for the face of God in every person.” ❤ Absolutely!!

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Hi Sadie! Thanks so much for dropping by. I am honored. Yes, Dora was a character. Zach didn’t hang much with us although he put in an ppearance a few times a visit. That is my largest complaint about churches : their exculsiveness. i get the feeling that I should not dis them too bad for they are a stairway to God and there are a few in everyy congregation who really get it – however that being said, I fnd their policies distasteful. When my best friend got married he was a baptist and his wife was catholic/ He too classes to become a catholic so they could get married in teh church. His Mom took me aside one day before the wedding (he and I were always in each other’s homes as we were best friends) and she was in tears. She had been told by her pastor (baptist) that her son was going to hell – literally – for converting to get married. She was literally sobbing because she believed that he would die and she would never see him again. I tried to calm her and explain that i did not believe that God punished those of other faiths. She didn’t take it well as she had been a member her church since she was a little girl – about 45 years. And now I was telling her that her pastor was wrong. Of course, that would suggest to any thinking person that if that was wrong then maybe all the rest was wrong too.

      I’ve had a faith that there is a supreme being for quite a long time – and i spend more time explaining to people that I don’t believe in what the religions preach about exclusivity – it seems to go together in people’s minds. It has turned me off organized religion . The God I know has never indicated that he only saves baptists or catholics. In fact even Jesus was a Jew. Ha! Which was kind of funny because Dora was fond of saying that : ” We have to get ready for the second coming at the synagogue you know. Jesus was a Jew and i suppose all those Christians will be coming to see him when he comes backk.” Bwahahaha! She was a shit disturber and loved every minute of it.

      Thanks again for the visit Sadie. Y’all come back soon now!

      Liked by 1 person

      • reocochran says:

        I had an agnostic Grandpa from Sweden, a Catholic Grandmother from Germany (she came as a teen before WWII) whose daughter (my Mom) became a Methodist. My Dad was working from age 11 and on Sundays, too. His mother did not attend church but liked the comfort once my Dad got to college of attending an Episcopal church. Paul, my Dad worked at NASA and his good friends were Jewish, Catholic and Hindu. He was always asking people, “How BIG is your God?” He had managed to get out of inner city Cincy. OH. Thanks to a truck driver who would so.etimes pick Das up while coming back home from Kentucky hitch hiking. He took him up to top of the U of C hill and told him he could stay on the ghetto or he could work hard at school (he was in junior high then) and co.e up there to get on a Co-op program. My Dad always said he felt that trucker was an “angel” and “saved his life.” God embraces our true selves and I believe He “sees” our hearts. If we are not “Saved” then I guess the life support system that brought Dad back to Earth and his views of the Light and warmth he felt in his fast trip up a chute, just make me want to go there anyway. However Dad went and if it is not my time, come back and appreciate and get along with all faiths or non-faiths. . . Okay, where do I put my belated step up podium? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for joining us today. Paul will be over shortly.

          For me, I just want to say that this is a beautiful comment. Without getting into the God-no God issue, thank heavens there are people like that trucker who gave such good advice to your Dad.

          Like

        • Paul says:

          Ummm, indeed it sometimes seems that we are offered options. I wrote a post about that – The Teens : https://cordeliasmomstill.com/2014/11/22/the-teens-guest-post-by-paul-curran/

          I’m glad that your father had someone who talked to him and made a difference in his life. It seems to me that God would be inclusive – that we would all matter to Him, regardless of what we believed. I find religions that are exclusive – believe that they and only they are right – often do damage in this world. Personally, I have a great deal of Faith, but I am not a very religious person. I do believe that if we are open, that there is help for each of us and that we are all loved unconditionally. I love your Dad’s question: How BIG is your God? Perfect 😀

          Thanks so much for dropping by and joining the discussion reo. Great to see you here.

          Like

          • reocochran says:

            Glad you didn’t mind a latecomer to this serious and meaningful subject mstter. Thank you for sharing about this touchy subject in a careful and caring way, Paul. I appreciate your liking my Dad’s question. Almost more philosophical than religious. He had what I would call a rough childhood and when he went to church in his twenties it filled some “holes” in his life. He had an abiding faith in God’s acceptance of others. Mom and Dad marched in Washington, for Civil Rights while my brothers went to stay at aunt and uncle’s house.

            Like

  19. Pingback: Let’s Try This Again | Cordelia's Mom, Still

  20. Outlier Babe says:

    Pot, kettle, when it comes to calling other folks sh#t-disturbers, you dastardly disturber, you! Loved your willingness to do that deed for the sake of Dora, and also recognize the kick you received doing it. Very nice of your wife to play along, by the way.

    What a pleasure to read another Paul post!
    🙂 🙂 🙂
    I can add nothing others have not said better, except that I think it is fair to mention that there are some non- and less-judgmental religions out there: I know little about the religion, but Bahai seems to be one… I’m sure there are others with which I am not familiar–esp. from the non-Judeo-Christian tradition.

    (I am also a non-denominational monotheist, Paul. But I like being in a traditional Christian church once in a while.)

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Thanks so much for dropping by OB. It is a pleasure to hear your voice in the discussion. I agree with you and i suppose I would also describe myself as a monotheist, although I hadn’t thought much about it. I do believe that as the “children” of God we have a lot more power than we are aware of – after all isn’t it the wish of any parent to see their children grow into versions of themselves? It would not surprise me if we were to discover that we could manipulate this universe in ways that science cannot explain. We see bits and pieces of this upon occasion. Do bear in mind that the Bible actually says : “Thou shall have no other Gods above me.” That leaves some openings about power that are not there with the common interpretation.

      Thanks again for the visit and i am glad that you enjoyed the post. Please drop by again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Outlier Babe says:

        To me, the scary, scary thing about finding out that my prayers worked was finding out that they worked. Did that mean that I would become more responsible for the bad in the world from then on, if I was too lazy to pray to try to effect some degree of improvement? (I don’t, BTW, believe in interventional prayer, necessarily, at the level of “Please God, send me a Ferrari”, or what have you, although I don’t entirely reject that possibility–I can’t envision a God or universe where God turns her/his/its back on children being tortured by abusive parents and pedophiles and cancer while others are praying for their protection. My vision of God is more that God is a big Battery of Goodness that we can draw upon to magnify the power of good. So I might pray, for instance, “Please help us try to be more self-aware today, and be kinder to each other. Thank you, God.” “Please help me be more patient today, and do something worthwhile from my list of tasks. Thank you, God.”

        Thank you for the pleasure I received from your post, Paul.

        Like

        • Paul says:

          I agree OB. I will often pray for understanding or wisdom or faith or patience or courage. I find that praying for things is oxymoronic – greater good vs self interest.

          Liked by 1 person

  21. rarasaur says:

    Wow! What a tale! … what a time.
    Thank you for sharing this!

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Hi Rara! Thanks so much for dropping by for a read. Such a pleasure to have you visit. I’m glad you liked the story. It was an honor to have you here.

      Liked by 2 people

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