Friday, May 25, 2012

#57- My Church Life

My mother dragged me to church as a youth.  We came from a Catholic background with a muted Vodou presence like most Haitians.  When we moved to the U.S. permanently she made a smooth transition to Protestant churches.  I think she did this because she was looking to belong in a community of Haitians in a strange land.  I don't think she can really delineate most of the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism still today.  I think to her Jesus is Jesus.

She dragged me to a Haitian church in Hollywood, Florida where I experienced my first cognitive dissonance with the invisible being they were so in love with.  I was told to "love" and "fear" this being simultaneously.  It was there that I got hated on when I wanted to eat the holy cracker and drink the bloody juice.  It was there that I experience favoritism and gossip. It was there that my mother took me on the morning of the impending Hurricane Andrew.  The streets were bare and this lady had me attend church instead of preparing for what would be the costliest storm in U.S. history.

As a teenager I bounced around different venues.  Eventually I landed at Miami's Emmanuel Baptist Church.  I had visited them when the young people used to worship on the second floor.  I remember it being crowed, dark, and hot.  The youth were more gregarious and boisterous then the austere adults downstairs.

Years later I was back there after tentatively accepting Jesus.  The youth moved downstairs and were more organized.  They even had their own pastor.  It was essentially a house divided as I later found out.  I came to Sunday School after meeting a young lady at Miami-Dade through a mutual friend.  They were discussing the Christian way to date.  I tried to bite my tongue but failed.  I told them in my own special way that their notions are unrealistic and could get people raped.  My statements created a buzz and I was invited back.  I liked Sunday School because it was an open forum where people can speak.  I am very opinionated so this was good for me.  This was the beginning of me trying to fit it to Emmanuel New Vision Baptist Church.

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