Last week, my home church celebrated Homecoming. This week, the church in which I grew up celebrated Homecoming. It was the first time I had been back in Mt. Hermon since Daddy’s funeral. It was not sad, though. I felt very much at home. Most of the time, when I worshiped here, I sat with Daddy while Mama sat in the choir. This Sunday, I sat with Mama. Yet, Daddy was very much there. When the church added cushions to the pews, Daddy was not comfortable, so they had the upholsterer who made the cushions create a removable piece that Daddy could take out and sit on the bare pew. Well, when I looked down the pew I was sitting on Daddy’s “cushion.” It was almost like sitting with him. Then when I exited the church, Pastor Bishop showed me the cross he wore and told me that Daddy had made the cross for him out of walnut wood and signed his name “Floyd” on the back. Pastor Bishop said that he treasured that cross. (Yes, for those who know me, I cried.)
I did not take the camera this morning. I simply went to worship and visit and renew friendships.
Thomas Wolf wrote famously, “You can’t go home again.” But you can go home again. It may not be the same home you left, but it is still home. My former church is small in number. The walls are no longer “pea green.” But the pews are still a natural color, not dark stained. The pipe organ is still in use. There is no choir, and the dress is more casual. (No one wore a suit and tie, or hats, or gloves. My grandmother never went to church without her hat, which she had to remove when she put on her choir robe, and I remember her wearing her gloves as well.)
Still, the liturgy and the hymns remain nearly the same, the gospel message the same.
I can go home again.