“Wow!” That was the first thing I thought to myself when I walked into this church.
Wow…aside from the pastor, no one else looks like me (and he didn’t even preach that day–I only saw his picture on the website before visiting!).
“Umm….I’m not coming back to this church.”
The message was over, but I since I arrived a “tad bit” late to service, I decided I’d stay for the beginning of the next service and factor in their worship to confirm my assertion that I would not be revisiting. So I headed to the restroom to relieve my overactive bladder (pertinent detail to the story), got some tea and was approached by this man.
He starts to ask me questions, so I quickly scan his finger to see if this is some rando intensely trying to hit on me my first time here.
Left finger. Ring. Check.
I decide to converse.
First or second question he asks, “What are you looking for in a church?”
“Sound teaching. Outreach. Community groups…and diversity.”
Without hesitation, he replies, “Yeah, I’mma be honest. It’s mainly white and Asian people here.”
Yeah, I noticed. Decides to tune out the rest of the conversation…
He rambles some very inspiring things (which I’ll touch on in another post) and then insists that I meet his wife as well as the pastor.
He introduced me to his wife and she had quite an interesting name for a white person (IMO). We exchanged numbers. That was it for the moment.
Then he introduced me to the pastor. Nice! Somebody who looks like me! As we talk, I realize he’s actually vaguely familiar. I just couldn’t remember until he said something and BAM I knew how I knew him–He’s my biological father!
But I really did recognize him. I remembered one line from a sermon I listened to from The Village Church on Racial Reconciliation. Connection.
Then the pastor introduced me to a young lady vaguely around my age. She had a black mama and white daddy. Connection.
She then invited me to a young adult gathering where I met a gal from Texas who also understands that country music and Big Red are life! Connection.
And remember the man’s wife? Well, she wanted to connect over dinner or coffee. So after saying “yes,” what did I do? I reported to social media to see what I could find out about this woman. Not much I could find until…I saw her arm. It was a full-blown tattooed sleeve! Her arm was always covered every time I saw her in church. This lady who seemed so sweet and innocent.
Connection…or partial connection. We both have tattoos.
Returning home from visiting family, I attended the church’s Saturday service. I had spoken with a guy from FCA and told him I would let him know if I was actually going to attend the service; however, I didn’t remember to inform him until I was already running late and driving and I don’t text and drive, but I KNEW I was going to meet him during the meet and greet.
During worship, before the actual meet and greet, there was a man behind me and to my right. I didn’t see him when I walked in, but I heard his worship. “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye saints.” Like me, his worship was bold and freely singing praises unto our Savior. Connection. That man was the FCA guy. Connect.
And lastly, I sat at a table with a woman I exchanged names with while waiting in line for a taco. We both agreed we would probably have to do this scene again the next time we met since both of us were prone to memory loss. Connection. That next encounter was literally ten minutes later as I sat down at her table.
She introduced her husband who had tattoos EVERYWHERE. He wasn’t scary or anything, but he was tatted up! However, she looked pristine. How did these two opposites get married?
If you know me, that thought didn’t stay in my head.
To my surprise, she rolled up her sleeves showing that she was significantly tatted up herself. Connection. Again, okay, I only have four tattoos, but any Christian with a tattoo is always a plus for me.
Every tattoo has a meaning.
I believe the more tattoos the longer the story.
No matter what our outward appearances show, in the body of Christ we all have a story. Somewhere in the midst of all our narratives is the story of a sinner headed their own way, struck by the realization of the magnitude of their depravity and captivated by a Savior’s loving pursuit evidenced by death on a cross and victory over sin and death.
Though no change in outward appearances of its members, as I left this homogenous church that I declared I would never revisit, it became a little more diverse.
(That was my 3rd time attending)