Being in church can do things to people. I used to think that the very need to sit still and silent in a loo-less building was guaranteed to bring on an attack of cramp, a coughing fit or a bout of incontinence. It was almost an excuse not to go. All this was a long time ago, I remember - except that today I had the tickly cough. It began towards the end of the Gospel and by the sermon was threatening the full, eye-ball-popping, knicker-wetting Monty. I extricated myself from my customary front pew and left to cough - apparently still audibly - in the porch.
When it was over, I crept back in and sat in the pew immediately opposite the door. No-one in the know ever sits as far back as this - the draught is appalling, you're well behind the infra-red overhead heaters and the temperature is about ten degrees lower than at the front. But it was fascinating. I was struck by how beautiful the church looked, how tall, how simple. I was moved by the sight of the congregation - twenty today - gathered together, all intently listening. I felt at once an outsider and a matriarch, somehow responsible for this little group. And I too listened - to a sermon about rearranging the metaphorical furniture of our lives to make space for prayer and noticing. And before I crept back into the relative warmth for the Creed, I thought about changing viewpoints and the insights given by a new look at life.
Jolly chilly, though.
NB - there's a wee literary reference in there. Usual virtual reward.