Scoot Blog: Germs at church on Good Friday!
"My name is Scoot....and I am a ‘germophobe’."
Folks, I have admitted this countless times on the show. As a germophobe at the Good Friday service at church this afternoon, I once again struggled with ‘germs at church’!
The Good Friday service includes the congregation lining up to kiss the large wooden cross at the altar. One-by-one each person walks up and kisses the cross – the symbol of how Christ was crucified. Today in church, my phobia about germs first inspired the thought of not kissing the cross and being comforted by the idea that God would understand. The priest must know that I’m not the only germophobe in the church because he did explain the options of just touching the cross or simply genuflecting in front of it. I even considered blowing a kiss to the cross!
But when I made the decision to commit to going through with this Good Friday ritual, I immediately started developing a detailed strategy on how and where I would kiss the cross. As I stood in line in the main aisle approaching the cross, my prayers were interrupted by the mental process of working on my strategy. Where would be the best place to kiss the cross? What about all the other people placing their lips on the cross? How could I avoid the germs placed on the cross by those who went before me?
When I was just a few people away from the moment of kissing the cross, I started to pay close attention to the spot where each person in front of me chose to place their lips. I observed, “She’s kissing it on the cross bar, he’s also kissing the cross bar.” I thought, “Great, I’ll kiss the main part of cross in the corner where the cross bar meets the main bar – no one is kissing that spot!”
The strategy worked! No one kissed that part of the cross before I placed my lips on that spot! Relief!
Today was not the only day I thought about germs in church. It’s a weekly problem for me. I often sit to the side in an area where no one is around me. I refer to this area as the ‘germ-free zone’ because when it comes time to offer each other the ‘sign of peace’ I do not have to make physical contact with anyone!
And if I see a priest sneeze or cough in his hand before giving out communion, I am almost rendered immobile in my spot in the pew. I also think about the people who are coughing and sneezing during mass and how they touch the books with the prayers and the hymn books – and I think about the people at the mass before me who were touching the books I’m touching or the top of the pew in front of me where I often rest my hands! OMG! The germs are everywhere! I know germs are everywhere, but in what seems to be the pristine setting of the church, the idea of germs looms large in my mind.
I do realize that my problem with ‘germs at church’ is a bit irrational and I’m sure there is Divine Intervention or we would all be sick all the time, but I admit that I struggle with my weekly attempts to avoid these invisible threats to my health and my sanity in church.
And among my prayers while I’m in church is a prayer that God will protect me and help me better deal with my germophobia!
God Bless and enjoy church!