Imagine not being able to afford toilet paper. I find it easy to imagine not being able to keep my son in college ~ but not being able to keep him with access to toilet paper is, well, unimaginable.
Now imagine I want to collect toilet paper because our food pantry and domestic violence shelter have run out and have asked for my help. And imagine I decide to build a mountain of donated toilet paper on the church chancel (stage) and have a “Blessing of the Toilet Paper” during service on Sunday, May 17th.
Now imagine getting push-back from churchy people across the country because the blessing “seems a bit extreme” and because “I wouldn’t want to use a blessed article to fill the needs which are met with toilet paper.” And imagine another person chiming in that I should include feminine hygiene products. And then imagine an atheist posting about the “Blessing of the Toilet Paper” saying that, “the whole notion of blessing an inanimate object is a bit curious because it elevates toilet paper to a level of idol worship.”
Now I am worshipping toilet paper?
What the hell happened? All I was trying to do was to bless the efforts of our community in caring for the most basic of needs of the most desperate of people in the most desperate of circumstances. I posted, “I thank you for your opinions, pontifications, corrections, additions, jokes and judgments. Now I want your toilet paper.”
Philosophy is of very little use when you don’t have what you need to go to the bathroom (if you have a bathroom to go to, that is). Two more people posted comments: a musician and a photographer. The musician said, “I like toilet paper… Blessing something, to me, is more of a recognition and a send-off to do well. A group of people coming together and blessing something doesn’t mean you are worshiping it. Once a year animals get blessed in some churches. It doesn’t mean that they have now become gods and are now to be worshiped…” The photographer said, “Someone is saying,’thank God for this…this toilet paper is a blessing’ ~ so why not bless it?”
Please contribute toilet paper (or cash to buy it) as soon as possible to the Congregational Church of Patchogue, 95 East Main Street, Patchogue, N.Y. 11772. The church office number is 631-475-1235. We would like to have completed the mountain/pyramid of toilet paper by the “Blessing of the Toilet Paper” on Sunday, May 17th at 10am. By the way, we routinely collect feminine products, diapers, wipes, formula and baby food for our food pantry and local domestic violence shelter as well.
Peace & Other Blessings
(such as toilet paper)
Rev. Dwight Lee Wolter