Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: Seeing God

Photos by Midge Frazel, 19 Aug 2014
All Saint's Church, Warwick, Rhode Island
"I saw God."

Last August, while on my self-titled, Cranston Adventure, I wanted to visit for a few minutes at some of the stops along my autobiographical timeline, so that I could write about my childhood. Next to the Pontiac Library in nearby Warwick, I took a few photos of the All Saint's Church (111 Greenwich Ave.). I didn't remember to take a photo of the church sign but it is fairly readable at Google Street View. I think my photos make a nice collage. The bright red doors are like cardinals in the snow.

My parents were married in the Episcopal Church near where my grandparents lived. I think my grandmother's Schofield ancestors may have been Anglican in England.

So, when my parents moved to "The Plat", this is the nearest church that is Protestant. My father, being raised as a Baptist, didn't like this church because it is "high" church so it couldn't have been long before they found a young Congregational minister who was starting a church across from Garden City and my parents joined that church. 

But during the time I went to the Preschool-Kindergarten at All Saints, I clearly remember the inside of the church (it was very red) and the room upstairs where I went to Sunday School. 

After church, we went home, and had lunch. I can still see, in my mind's eye, my mother standing in our kitchen, with a dish towel in her hand, wiping a clean plate, asking me what I learned at Sunday School. I told her they read us a Bible story and then, I rode the tricycle around the room. If only religion was this simple.

But, on this particular Sunday, I said something unusual happened. "God came to see us!", I said. My mother nearly dropped the plate she was drying. Of course, to a small child, an Episcopal minister looks very god-like as they wear the black cassock and the white collar. I told her that he asked me about the Bible story and I told him about it. He said I was a good girl, patted me on the head, and told me to go play. 

Oh, my mother tried to explain that he was the minister but I remembered they called him "Father" and I was not convinced. I had met God, and that was fact.

To this day, when someone says, "God", this man's face is what I see. 

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