We were in Blockbuster Friday evening searching for movies to watch as we anticipated the storms rolling into our area from the gulf. As we walked the store, my son picked up a copy of a horror movie in jest, which led to the question, “What is the scariest movie you’ve ever watched?”
My initial reaction is typically “The Exorcist.” I can still recall the sheets pulled over my head as I lay restless in bed at my grandparents’ house overhearing the lines spewing from the “edited” version playing on the TV in the living room. The lights were dim in the kitchen as I crept past the barstools to tell the others that I was scared. With the contorted look on the girl’s face on the screen and her wretched voice, it’s a wonder I was able to ever fall asleep.
As I awoke this morning, my mind was contemplated a number of random and seemingly unconnected thoughts…a comedy we watched together last night, my son’s social studies project, the church we are planning to visit this morning, and the red balloon…the scariest movie I ever watched.
We’re searching for a church home. This morning, we’re going to visit a church that appears to be a progressive church. Yet, it is still affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention despite dropping “Baptist” from its name a few years ago. Memories filled my thoughts of being raised under the denominational beliefs of the Baptist church.
After a quick web search this morning, I found the red balloon. I couldn’t recall the name of the movie, but someone had posted the scene I so vividly remember despite the fact that I saw it 28 years ago. Sitting in a blue, hard plastic chair several rows back, the room had been set up like a theater in our Sunday School class. An isle down the center of the room made way for the old projector that played “Image of the Beast”…the jail…the man in what appeared to be a sheet with armholes…the guillotine…the red balloon. I shifted uneasily this morning as I watched the clip on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac-EWlWWKwk).
I’m in a season of bitterness with the church right now…bitter about the shame, guilt, and fear tactics used by the church to scare me into belief. It's no wonder why I'm a bit disturbed as I'm getting ready to head to church today.