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Excerpted from Friendship with God by Neale Donald Walsch. Copyright 1999 by Neale Donald Walsch. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 


"Well, I stepped out of line. I wish I could report that I based my protest on higher moral grounds, but the truth is I couldn't stand the thought of not getting to wear my white sport coat."

Neale Donald Walsch, Friendship with God, Part 4

My next brush with the fear of God came when I was thirteen. My childhood babysitter, Frankie Schultz, who lived across the street from us, was getting married. And he invited me -- me -- to be an usher in his wedding party! Whoa, I was proud. Until I got to school and told the nun.

"Where is the wedding taking place?" she asked suspiciously.

I gave her the name of the place.

Her voice turned to ice. "That's a Lutheran church, isn't it?"

"Well, I don't know. I didn't ask. I guess I ..."

"It is a Lutheran church, and you are not to go."

"How come?" I asked.

"You are forbidden," she declared, and something felt very final about that.

"But why?" I persisted nonetheless.

Sister looked at mea as if she couldn't believe I was questioning her further. Then, clearly pulling from some deep inner source of infinite patience, she blinked twice and smiled.

"God does not want you in a heathen church, my child," the nun explained. "The people who go there do not believe as we believe. They do not teach the truth. It is a sin to attend church anywhere other than a Catholic church. I'm sorry that your friend Frankie has chosen to be married there. God will not consecrate the marriage."

"Sister," I pressed, way, way past the toleration point, "what if I usher at the wedding anyway?"

"Well, then," she said with genuine concern, "woe be unto you."

Whew. Heavy stuff. God was one tough hombre. There would be no stepping out of line here.

Well, I stepped out of line. I wish I could report that I based my protest on higher moral grounds, but the truth is I couldn't stand the thought of not getting to wear my white sport coat (with a pink carnation -- just like Pat Boone was singing about!). I decided not to tell anyone what the nun said, and I went to that wedding as an usher.

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