First of all, I don't understand why they don't have extra Bibles in Church! I mean, they say that God is the author. And church is the House of God. So why there aren't any spares of his own book in his own house is beyond me. Anyways, I ended borrowing my roommate’s Bible which ended up being in my favor considering that it allotted me time to study the names of the chapters in the car on the way there. I don't understand why preachers yell out random chapters like PSALM or SAMUEL or LIL KIM; can I just get a page number please? So my co-worker picks me up and I get in the car and we're running VERY late which made me very nervous because the last thing I want is to look crazy in church. Normally it brings me great joy and pleasure to stand out but in a religious setting I just wanted to blend in, lay low, hold in the laughter, and take copious notes so I could write about them later. Apparently our tardiness was not a problem though. See, I forgot it was a BLACK church which means that you are looked upon as culturally out of place if you show up to anything on time. So we got out of the car in a very full parking lot and made our way in with the rest of the community which was just as late as we were. So I walk through the door, shake some lady's hand and I feel a sigh of relief because I've realized that she had not yet detected me as a non-believer, otherwise known as Lucifer. That morning I made sure I was dressed in most Christ-y looking attire possible which basically means I made sure not to iron anything and decided to forego the eyeliner and clear nail polish. So we walk in to sit down. And I realized something. Churches are not the same as they were when I was kid. Times have changed.......
The choir had already begun to sing and many people had been seated at this point so I very gingerly went in and sat down. My co-worker had to do "Communion" which I had no idea what that was yet. But basically she sat in the Orchestra and I was in the Mezzanine. I composed myself, put my Bible on my lap, and looked up to enjoy the festivities. I was completely overwhelmed with what I saw. Let me tell you, I thought it would be a few people on stage singing in robes and an old lady on the organ with some happy Black people clapping along. I was wrong! It was so much more; this was a full performance! It was the weekly Matinee! And not only that, a performance with late seating! Even better. There were lights! So many lights; with dimmers and spotlights and different color specials. There was a full band with drums and a horn section. There must've been at least 40 people up there clapping and singing and hundreds in the audience. They even had a stage with a background set! They had bushes that were trimmed down to the shape of very large letters like oversized chia pets. It read: WE GROW PEOPLE! Is this a church for midgets? (I'm sorry that was mean...."little people" that sounds less offensive) My mother should've come, she'd fit right in! And the real kicker was this. There were camera men! At least 4 of them. They had video cameras that displayed every moment live on not 1, not 2, but 3 video screens above the choir in real time. There was a soundboard and a program. This wasn't Sunday service, it was a football game! I thought to myself "I needed to bring popcorn". But then I realized I could just buy some at intermission. I've never seen such a spectacle. I tried to calm myself down so I could absorb everyday detail. Somehow, in between my being totally captivated and my never-ending sweat I managed to jot down a detailed record of the events. So here's the running order of the program:
ACT ONE: Follow The Bouncing Cross
ACT FIVE: Commercial Break:
I know I sound crazy but I promise to you I am mot making this next part up. I swear on the Bible I borrowed from my roommate. On the video screens they played a commercial that was advertising a Male Christian Fraternity that meets every Saturday morning. First of all what's a male fraternity? That's like making an advertisement for women’s tampons, not to be confused with male tampons? HUH?! Anyways, it started with this man (who for some God forsaken reason was White, what ever happened to representation?) he slowly was putting on a full medieval metal dominatrix looking fighting suit complete with sword and shield. And this booming voice played through the speakers "COMING OCTOBER 10TH.....MASCULINITY AS YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE...MALE FRETERNITY SESSION EVERY SATURDAY MORNING AT 7...PREPARE FOR TOTAL DOMINATION COMING TO A CHURCH NEAR YOU!!!!" The commercial finishes and there's a silence in the room. Normally at this point I would get what I refer to as the "church giggles". When you laugh incredibly inappropriately at a time when you don't want to and the more you try to stop laughing the more difficult it gets to control. This did not happen. Have you ever seen something so funny that you can't even laugh? This is what happened. I was shocked, appalled, and so horrified that I was completely frozen in its hilarity. There's no way this was real. As I watched the insanity unfold on the video screen, all I kept thinking was, “I swear I wrote this shit.”
EPILOGUE: Chicken and waffles
So even though I really wanted a second helping of Communion, I knew that I needed to be thankful that they didn't kidnap me so I did not press my luck any further and left immediately. We went to where any respectful group of Black people would go post-church, the Waffle House. Our server's name was Trickadeshakeshiapropeesha. I didn't recognize half the food on the menu so I decided when in
So that's it. That was my day of Lord. I'm pretty sure Jesus and I are BFF's now. It was wonderful. Somehow I made it out alive. The aliens didn't brainwash me. However, next time I will be sure to bring one of my White friends as my protector. It might be nice to see something White in church besides the gloves.