We pulled up to a set of two large buildings connected by a second story segway. It was already five past six and it was my fault that we were running late for church, so we hurriedly followed our ears towards the music. I looked into the glass door just long enough to see about ten rows of chairs filled with bodies, and took it as our cue that we were in the right place.
When we walked in, I noticed something was ‘off.’ I attributed it to the fact that there was a vocalist up front bellowing loudly without a band or acoustics to accompany him. As we were walking to our seats, I realized the discerning factor. Everyone was Hispanic. The music was in Spanish. What do we do? Instead of making a U-turn and heading straight for the door, I perched on a seat, forcing Bryan to situate himself accordingly. I turned hot with embarrassment, and began fielding questions my mind was feeding me–do they notice we’re white? If we sit still enough, can we hold out through the whole service? What if they ask us something in Spanish and discover we are intruders? Now, it’s not that God discriminates, but I doubt he’d think fondly of us treating his hour as a theatrical display of serenity instead of an earnest attempt to learn and grow (and hear). Though with some services we’ve been to, I suppose they may as well have been in Spanish.
The unfortunate part of my persona kicked in and I was in a fit of laughter. Not the ‘tee-hee’ type, but rather the bodily convulsions that appear to be the result of heartfelt tears. We had to go, Bryan decides. I would have honestly stuck it out.
No sooner had we reached the doorway than my mascara was running down my face. Why? Why does every Sunday expedition have to be so surreal? A small man with gray hair popped his head out from the doorway across from us, beckoning us with his arms. As we got closer, I realized we had entered the wrong service, and that these men had been watching the debacle the whole time. I love church; I love church in English more.
I probably should have invested my schooling into the Spanish language as opposed to French. There seem to be a handful of times when this would have proven rewarding– including the time my dad was frantically seeking ‘leche’ for the ‘bebe’ when we were overseas with a newborn, or the time in gradeschool that the Spanish girl was yelling at me while in the bathroom and finally stuck her head under my stall, or the year we were unable to find the English version of the New Years Eve countdown and resolved as a family unit to chant ‘diez, nuevo, ocho….’ in the basement. Or tonight. Tonight would have been nice.