Begrudgingly, I arose Sunday morning and forced myself to prepare for the weekly worship service. My intentions were to wake up early enough to attend the first service at 8am. This service consists of: no announcements, only one praise and worship song, no solo from the praise dancers, no choir, a 1-hour sermon, and then the offering. Basically, the service skips over all the pre-holy ghost madness, and dives straight into the sermon–an hour and a half, and you’re done. Unfortunately, I didn’t wake up until 7:55, and instead of rushing, I decided to drag around and prepare myself for the 10:30 service.
Upon entering the church, I realized that the praise and worship singers had already begun their soulful and joyous renditions of popular worship songs. Nothing unusual. For those of you who may not be familiar with the term, i.e. those of who haven’t set foot in a church in years, they are a group of 4-8 talented singers who create a welcoming environment with a mini-concert as members arrive to serve the Lord. Side note: That description is good enough to be in Wikipedia—Yes, I am a genius. The first selection is usually a fast-paced song purposely chosen to prepare the members for the joyous day, while the next selection is either a slow and highly emotional song, or an additional fast song. Both of these B selections are meant to drive you into “the spirit.” Either of these songs will lead to slow, wailing and tears, or quick-stepping and falling out. This usually happens every Sunday.
Sad to say, I am still a work in progress, so every now and then I’ll give an “Amen”, or a clap. The farthest I’ll go will be a few tears (can’t mess up the eyeliner). One day, I’ll be in the full-blown-shouting-Hallelujah-falling-out-over-the-pews stage. I admire those who have allowed themselves to enter this stage of their relationship with God. Because I am not quite there, every Sunday I have ample time to observe those who participate in the spirit to the fullest. This Sunday was no different.
After warming up the members with a lovely, fast-paced A selection, the octet of singers let us have it once again, but this time, harder and faster. Side note: I am referring to the chords–faster keys, harder drums, more bass, etc. Apparently, the selection was “my song” for many members. The intro hadn’t even ran it’s course before people were standing up clapping and rocking. I, of course, was preparing for what was to come. Now the singing would begin:
- First verse
- Second verse
- Third verse
- Second and third verse again–this time with crowd participation
- Ad libs from the each of the singers
- Drum solo
After the first set of ad libs, the action unfolded. By this time, various members of the congregation were sprawled out crying, wailing, or my favorite–dancing. In particular, I had my eye on a woman who was dancing, and then suddenly broke out into a full sprint. Yes, a sprint, and in the church. Of course, this wasn’t my first time witnessing a runner, but this lady was an exception. First of all, this lady was not equipped with the breasts of a runner. She had breasts that women like myself dream about having until we talk to one of our girlfriends who hates her large breasts:
- Can’t work out–they get in the way
- Hard to find cute tops that actually fit
- Hard to find a good, sexy bra
- Back pain
- Sweat underneath—DISGUSTING, but I had to add it.
After watching the blur of hair and breasts pass me, I then noticed Sister Double D taking the curve and making a second victory lap for Jesus. Two laps! I wasn’t prepared for the victory lap and found myself in tears. Trying to conceal my laughter, I noticed one of the ushers passing out tissues and thought, “What if everyone thinks the spirit has touched me and driven me to tears?” Now I’d have to keep up the act, behaving as if I were on the straight and narrow. Eventually, the church members would hear about my nights being posted up at the bar, cussing like a sailor, and would ultimately think I was double-spirited: Heathen Monday through Friday, Sanctified and Righteous on Sunday. This is too much pressure.
Overall, I don’t think anyone was really paying any attention to me at all.