Folks around these parts were quite a’flutter today.  Tropical Storm Hanna was on her way.  I’m a little frustrated with the weather people because they could never seem to make up their minds about where Hanna was going to hit – or maybe it was just Hanna who couldn’t make up her mind.  So we weren’t worried, then we were, then we weren’t again…now it’s less harsh than a thunder storm where we are, but they are still interrupting regularly-scheduled-programming-already-in-progress every 30 minutes for a tropical storm update – Tropical Storm Warning, Hurrican Watch, Tornado Watch, Flash Flood Watch, etc.

I was coming home from my parents house this morning (stayed to watch the USC game again) and I decided we better be safe and get some batteries.  So off to Wal-mart I went (in my pjs)…only to find a FULL parking lot – seriously, not a single space – it was like Christmas at the mall, except grocery carts were full of water and batteries and flashlights and canned food and beer instead of Christmas presents…well, I guess the beer could really apply to either situation.  So rather than circle around a few times, I went across the street to Target and there was hardly anyone there…weird.

So I figure Wal-mart must have stock in hurricanes because they really make a killin’ when one comes around or even threatens to come around in 4 days.  My mom said she went there on Tuesday and they were out of bottled water already, on TUESDAY!?  I’m also thinking that they have some crazy signal that sends people into panic mode and makes everyone feel the need to buy all these things…I myself even bought bottled water and several packs of batteries and a battery-powered radio “just in case”.  seriously.  I felt a little foolish because I wasn’t even that concerned, but once I was in the store, I couldn’t help myself. 

But if a real hurricane ever does strike, we are ready.  Just like a boy scout.

Desperate Presbyterians

Of course, the one night I miss a new Desperate Housewives is the night that it actually has some redeeming qualities.  I get to Bible study monday morning, and we actually talk about it then – and I was out of the loop.  THEN during the youth leader meeting at lunch, it comes up again.  So I MUST WATCH IT.  Did you know you catch watch full episodes online – you can – AWESOME!

So here’s the summary and my editorial comments – seriously my mind was racing the whole show – the narrarator comes on at the beginning talking about how every Sunday morning, the neighbors all grab their Bibles and head to church (except that the show has been on for 3 years, and NO mention of church or faith or praying EVER before)…anyways…Lynette is the one woman on the street who doesn’t go to church (and she’s the most moral person, she’s faithfully married with four kids, her only thing is lusting after a guy – but no affair, no stealing, no killing, no statatory rape, etc., like the other housewives – interesting), anyways…she is getting her paper on Sunday morning and sees everyone else going to church, so she goes inside and says, “we need to go to church” because they have been through a lot (cancer, tornado) and she has a lot of questions.  Her husband brushes her off and protests until her son says, “Jesus is that guy who helps Santa” 

So off they go – and she goes to her neighbor Brie’s house and asks to go to church with her family…as she’s walking back to get her family she asks, “What am I?”  And Brie says, “You’re a Presbyterain now”  LOVE IT  The Presbyterian is the super organized, super neat, OCD, perfectionist lady…perfect – you know we presbyterians like to have everything done decently and in order – the writers really thought this through.

Then they are in church after the sermon, and Lynette raises her hand to ask a question.  Brie is mortified, but the minister calls on her.  And she asks, “If God really is loving then why do so many bad things happen?”  The minister very pastorally says, “That’s a great question, but we don’t really have time to address that now, why don’t you come to our Tuesday Bible study”  And she sits down satisfied.  GENIUSaffirm her question and reach out by inviting her to Bible study.

But Brie, being a frozen chosen Presbyterian, tells Lynette that Presbyterians don’t DO that…church is a place for answers, not for questions…if she wants to talk back to the minister, she should go to that gospel church down the street.  So Lynette goes to the Catholic church the next week and Brie’s minister asks her where her delightful friend was – it’s always so nice to have members invite others to church.  So Brei (with her by works mentality) goes to the Catholic church to get Lynette back, the nun acuses her of poaching, but Lynette stays because she’s already put her money in the offering plate and wants her money’s worth.

Eventually Lynette and Brei make up, Lynette buys a Bible and has post-its all in it, marking places where she has questions.  The show closes as the two ladies sit on the porch talking about the Bible.

It’ll be interesting to see if they ever bring up the church again.  Illustrations abound.

I think Brie and Lynette represent real people in our churches and our community.  You have people who look good on the outside – they’re all clean and pretty, but do they really have faith – or is church something they do because it helps make them look good.

I prefer the Lynettes – the people who are searching – who have good questions – who are willing to do the work to investigate and find the answers, maybe more questions.  People who do the right thing because it’s the right thing, not because the minister will choose you for the ladies auxilary or you get brownie points with God if you do the right thing.

Maybe I read too much into the show – I’m always looking for a glimpse of God in the secular world of music, movies, and TV – it helps to relate faith to the real world, because even if it’s not so real, this is the world where our youth and other church folk spend much of their time.