Must. Not. Smile.

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Photo by Simon Wijers on Unsplash

One of the people you will always find in church on a Sunday morning or for a midweek service is that man or woman who is unwaveringly expressionless. I can tell a joke, share a funny incident, relate a heartbreaking story, announce a tragedy or laugh out loud. That person will not respond. They will not smile, frown, purse their lips, laugh, furrow their brow, growl, roll their eyes, or demonstrate any kind of emotion whatsoever.

I am impressed by this. So many entertaining things happen in church. People drop hymnals, children scream, someone hiccups, a phone rings, giant sneezes, loud “shushes,” a B natural instead of a B flat, a nose honks really loudly when blown, a head painfully bumps on the back of a pew, the tenors make up their own parts, and there is an occasional burp (or worse.)

I could never do it. My eyes get wide, I chuckle, I choke back a laugh, I roll my eyes, I shake my head, and I glare if I think I know who forgot to turn off their phone.

Look around this week. Find that person in worship who has the emotions of a Vulcan or Mr. Data or Bortus (The Orville). Watch them and be amazed. Then take the challenge. See if you can do it. See if you can sit there straight-faced and emotionless for an entire worship service.

If you can do it, don’t tell me. I already know who you are.