Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Troy Aikman and liturgy


On Sunday I attended Catholic mass with my friend and co-worker Phyllis and I was rather bewildered when the liturgist for the day, after reverently bowing before the altar, turned to the congregation to reveal a baggy, black tee-shirt featuring a gigantic picture of Dallas Cowboy Troy Aikman with helmet dawned and a big toothy grin plastered across his belly. The liturgist stood beneath an enormous, awkward painting of the Last Supper where nine white disciples are gathered around faded gray loaves of bread with the fair, flowing-haired Jesus sitting austerely at the center. I say nine disciples because three of them are decapitated. Age and weather have taken their toll, so the three poor guys hover headless in the background. The windows in the church are hand-painted with scenes of Jesus engaging Africans in daily life. Tools are limited, so the scenes have been depicted using poster paint and despite their crudeness, they are oddly beautiful.

I hadn’t been to mass in years and as I knelt to pray I was properly humbled by the grandmothers that sat on either side of me. There was no complaint on their lips as their kneecaps found the hard, wooden kneeler, whereas my knees creaked in protest. Between the mamas to my right and my left and the hundreds of devoted Muslims I encountered in Zanzibar, I have been reminded this Christmas that discipline is not my strong suit. I rarely find myself in an uncomfortable posture of prayer and I even more rarely recite prayers in unison with my sisters and brothers in faith. Humbling indeed.

1 comment:

sarliefin said...

Your post left me laughing at the thought of Troy Aikman preaching with decapitated disciples behind him.

Once again I feel like I am there with you. Your writing is so wonderful and I appreciate you sharing all of this with us.

I'm so glad you were able to spend time with Peg and relax some. Congrats on maintaining your weight. It makes me laugh to think of you as "fat."