I was raised in the Catholic Church. St Bartholomew was our parish and my school for five years. Mommy always made sure sissy and I were dressed nicely. When I was older I told mommy it didn’t matter what I wore to church because I was an altar server. No one would see me. I’m sure she replied “God will know.” She made a lot of our clothes. She dressed us like twins. Even though sissy is four years older than I am.
After I graduated from college and starting teaching. My parents and sissy moved to Delaware. I moved from Detroit to Southfield. I strayed away from the Catholic Church, but not God if that makes sense.
Then one day I went to Hope United Methodist Church in Southfield. It wasn’t your traditional Methodist church. It was more like a baptist church. I admit I loved going to mass because it was an hour long. I don’t think you have to be in church all day on Sunday. That doesn’t make you a better christian than someone else. The service started at 10:30 and we were done by 1:00.
I went to Hope Church for several years. Going to a “black church” you had to have on your Sunday best. I have rocked my share of hats when I went to church. But it was more like a fashion show to me and I was losing sight on why I was in church. There were some Sundays I wouldn’t go to church because I didn’t have any Sunday Church clothes as we called them.
I couldn’t help thinking how many other people felt intimidated like me and don’t attend church for that same reason. I am not going to blame it all on my lack of wardrobe choices. I wasn’t attending church for another reason. Maybe I was regretting my decision to stay in Michigan. Maybe I was hurt that my family left me. I lost my way. But I never stopped praying to God.
The “black” churches are an amazing experience. The praise and worship is my favorite. Sometimes my soul was blessed by the music. That I couldn’t focus on the sermon. It is interactive. You can stand, clap, and shout Amen right along with the preacher. When the spirit moves you, you move with the spirit.
On Christmas Eve we were getting ready and I heard Harrison tell Sydney he wasn’t going because he didn’t have any church clothes. I thought that must be something he heard me say. I didn’t want him feeling that way. As long as he showered and had on clean clothes. He was good.
It is easy to get caught up in what others are saying about you. You don’t need anyone’s approval. God wants you to come as you are. You can be the sharpest dressed sinner sitting on the front pew. Or you can humble yourself, go to church and praise God.