February 14th 2010 happened to fall on a Sunday. The last time that happened was a year and a decade ago. This year I would be 'the Grinch who stole Valentine', or even the 'Ebenezer Scrooge of a Valentine Carol' (story for another day) so it made virtually no difference to me. Like I did on regular Sundays I went to church, but this Sunday, I would go late on purpose hoping to miss out on any soppy stunts and just get to the preaching. To my chagrin, I stepped in to a hall laced with red wrappings all over the place. Even the members of the congregation were not left out, clad in red clothes and accessories. Church was virtually bleeding on every side, irrespective of my lateness or mood.
And so it turned out the service was a Valentine's day program. The ushers and choristers and all the church workers had a touch of red going on. The song renditions were on agape love but LOVE all the same and as the event progressed, the senior pastor's wife asked the women whose husbands were present in church to march forward with gifts. Apparently the women had pre-rehearsed for this day and moment and the unsuspecting husbands were called on en masse to identify their wives and pick their Valentines pressies. I thought to myself, Church had not been so dramatic in a while. The men kissed and hugged and pecked and all forms of *PDA while the congregation consisting of desperate singles, widows and widowers looked on. One of the women took the microphone and started to give a vote of thanks to the husbands. She praised and appreciated and bragged about how good it felt to be married. Wow! The singles must have felt like jumping off a cliff at that point.
And then she said, "Shout Hallelujah if you love your husband(s)." And women thundered a response so loudly the roof must have shaken. Then she said, "If you had the chance of picking a husband all over again and you would pick the same man you are married to today, Shout Hallelujah!"
And then a delayed chorus of "Hallelujah" ensued, followed by a guffaw from Ebenezerette Grinch.
*PDA – Public Display of Affection.
Wrote this last year, February 14 2010.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN