|by Gina Dalfonzo|
In this week's Washington Post Magazine, columnist V. C. Chickering wrote about discovering her need for church at a tough time in her life:
I've been bad-mouthing organized religion since the late '70s, when my father had a spiritual epiphany on our living room couch and announced that he wasn't going to church anymore. My mom had always been a member of the Drinking-Coffee-Alone-in-My-House Church, so that was the end of that. But then, last March, in a perfect storm of personal calamity, my marriage imploded the same week that my best girlfriend and I broke up. The events weren't directly related, but it was colossally bad timing. I was in dire need of people who would be nice to me for less than $125 an hour. So off I went to church.
After trying out several different churches, she finally found what she was looking for:
Coincidentally(?), the pastor at my own church preached this weekend on the woman at the well to whom Jesus offered living water. As he pointed out, when Jesus made the offer, she thought He was simply offering to make her life easier, because she thought that was all she needed. Until He made it clear to her that He was offering much more than that, she didn't realize yet just how thirsty she really was.
I met with the good reverend later that week. She asked me about my current situation, gauging my level of safety (high), competence (adequate) and sanity (mezzo-mezzo). I told her that I didn't think of myself as churchy and detailed my reservations about organized religion. She listened, nodded and occasionally agreed. I told her I wouldn't be taking the Bible literally and would be thinking of Jesus as a very enlightened and wise man. She was okay with that, too.