Saturday, March 11, 2006

Lent Hymns

Thanks for everyone who posted an un-favorite Lent/Easter hymn. I couldn't help but notice that many folks mentioned, Were You There--some as least favorite, some as a favorite.

My relationship with this hymn has a history.

It was the spring of 1984. I was living on my college campus in an old Victorian house called "The Bread and Justice House". 5 bedrooms, 15 students (women upstairs, men downstairs), doing the usual college things plus running several projects on campus related to world hunger. In the room across the hall from me lived my friends--let's call them Lydia and Dorcas. Dorcas was dating one of the guys from downstairs--let's call him Felix. It was a new romance and it was MAJOR. (They got engaged that summer and were married the next spring.) They were both earnest Midwestern Presbyterians which at that time meant you did your very best to wait for The One, but not necessarily until the wedding night.

Lydia was a good friend and a good sport, but she was growing tired of Dorcas's increasingly frequent requests for time alone in their room with Felix. One night, late in Lent, Lydia came storming into the room I shared with two other women. She'd been booted out again. (Very politely, of course.) She ranted and grumped for several minutes, then fell silent. We went back to our studies. Suddenly, Lydia began to giggle.

"What?" we asked. And she began to sing:

Were you there when he laid her in my room?
Were you there when he laid her in my room?
OOOOOOhhhhhh. Sometimes it makes me want to strangle, strangle, strangle
Were you there when he laid her in my room?

Well, then we all began giggling hysterically and we basically had to give up on studying for that night and break out the ice cream.

So, you can see that it is pretty much impossible for me to have spiritually appropriate thoughts when that hymn is played.

Note: Felix was ordained the same year I was and he and Dorcas now live in a lovey suburban community in Texas where he serves as Pastor of the Presbyterian church. They paid me $500 not to use their real names in this blog. (Kidding, kidding . . . .well at least about the bribery.)

4 comments:

Quotidian Grace said...

Okay, you've piqued my curiousity now. Inquiring minds are dying to know if Dorcas and Felix are in the Houston area...but I know you'll never tell!

Great story!

Canticles said...

LOL! Unfortunately, that thought is now going to cross my mind every time I hear that song. It's in my 5th/6th grade choir's spring musical, so this should be interesting...

Apostle John said...

Please tell me that you gathered at the door to seranade the couple.

SpookyRach said...

Howlingly funny!