Parking in a big city is horrendous. The church I attend has a very steep parking lot hill to climb and if I could avoid it, I do. The street sign in front of the church, one of a million in this anti-parking city, read TOW ZONE NO Parking (except during church services) I parked. I got out of my car. I saw two policemen speaking to each other while they were sitting in their SUVs. As I walked away from my car, one SUV pulled up behind me. I waited for the officer to call me back for misinterpreting the TOW ZONE sign. He did not.
During Mass I wondered “why were two police vehicles outside of church to begin with?” Mass went along, no one was sick. There were no siren sounds from the street. I began to think of the elderly priest getting stabbed in a Canadian Church last month and over 300 of my Sri Lankan Catholic brothers and sisters who lost their lives at Mass. “Is there a threat here today”? I asked myself, “what would I do if I saw someone approaching the sanctuary with a knife”? I began to look around for what I could use to knock the lunatic out. “The brass candle stick”, I thought. “No, too heavy for me to lift”. “My purse, yes my purse. I would wack from the back. Wait, what if the lunatic isn’t knocked out and turns on me”? I eyed the Easter Lilly potted plant. “Yes, I would wack him/her from behind with my purse and immediately thwack the person over the head with the potted plant”.
This was my post communion meditation! Nothing “went down”. I spent the rest of Mass time apologizing to God for being so stupid and wasting good meditation time by indulging my overactive imagination. I rejoined “earth” at the final blessing.
As I walked out of Mass, I bumped into the policeman who was parked behind me. He was holding a church bulletin and ready to get back into his SUV. I said to him, “You know, Officer, this crazy world is getting to me.” He asked: “How so?” I answered: “I spent my whole meditation thinking about terrorists and how I would deal with it. I wondered if I was ready for martyrdom. I even chose my purse and potted Easter Lilly plant “weapons” to ward off an attack on the priest. After all that nonsensical thinking, here you are officer simply attending Mass!” I laughed at myself (out loud!).
He looked at me, the piteous, elder, crazy lady and smiled. Then he asked me, “Mam, did you happen to see the other policeman in his SUV”? “Yes” I answered. “Well mam, he was stationed here to be on guard for the Mass. I told him I would be more than happy to stay and will enter the church, attend Mass, and keep watch.”
Yes, there was a threat. The police were guarding. I guess I am not a piteous, crazy old lady with an over active imagination. I am an old lady who has lived long enough to witness the barbarity of an age, when a sanctuary is no longer a refuge.