By: D. Kimberly
It was the 2nd week in August which meant it was “church visiting Sunday”. The store front church in the city jumped so hard with the music; you would have thought the building would break free from its foundation. It was slavery hot in there. You know the type of service that the older saints called “a wall-sweating service”. I preferred to think that the walls were “crying” because of some of the body odor that hugged the atmosphere and clung to the cement walls. Especially, after praise & worship reached the two hour mark-funk with no fan. Then, the hour everyone waited in trembling anticipation for – testimonial service *starring* Sister Roberta James. Sister James’ buxom figure cast a shadow over the four rows in front of her as she rose to her feet and rocked her gargantuan body forward – and so it begins.
“First giving honor to God, the first lady elect, all those present in the body of Christ this morning..”
She went on for the next twenty minutes giving us her story about her prodigal son who was incarcerated for 7 years and was recently released after giving his life to Christ.
Pause. Being the nosy person all church people are bred to be, I’m thinking what carries a 7 year sentence? Uh murder with parole. I almost made the sign of the crucifix right there in my pew. I suppressed the urge to belt out, “Jesus be a fence.”
“And the bible says train up a child in the way that it should go and when it’s old it won’t depart. My daughter was raised in the way *raises hands and claps* but like sheep we’ve all gone astray…she went to college searching for the love God’s got for her right here in this house. D stand up.”
I feigned to be deaf and looked around nodding my head in agreement like she was talking about someone else. I was hoping the moment would pass, but you could hear a pin drop as the floor boards squeaked beneath my feet. “Stand up, girl.” She pulled me by my elbow.
“This is my daughter. By the way she’s been single for a loooong time. So, if there are any single men of God in the house…”
I heard the chuckles roll through the church. Dying by food poisoning from the Lady elects’ collard greens would have been less painful than this. Then I heard Roberta’s voice bellow over the pews, “my son is single too and recently converted!” followed by some scattered “amens”, “praise Gods” and a slow clap. Pause one more time. Am I being set up right now during testimonial with a CONVICT? It was confirmed when my mother nodded in Ms. Roberta’s direction, “Every sinner has a future and every saint has a past.” And the saints of God clapped emphatically with “alright nows”. The organist even had a nerve to start up the shouting music. Did my mother just barter me off? I sunk back into my pew, truly considering bolting for the back door.
As if this wasn’t enough, the minister asked me to be a “prayer warrior” during altar call. Guess who knocked little kids out the way to get me to hold his hands and “pray” for him? Yes, you are correct – the convict. I endured ten minutes of him feeling up my wrists as I pretended to pray but silently gave him the side eye with my right eye which was cracked. I was looking at him smiling at me. Ugh, the scenario gives me chills even now as I type. I tell you what– I was feeling “Woman that Art Loosed” – esque at the moment and if anything wayward happened as a result of my romance blinded mother and the denial bound Sister James, next Sunday we’d be gathering for this brother’s funeral.
I’d like to thank and praise God that nothing came of it, except the awkward molestation of my wrists. However, that was nothing a little disinfectant in the form of diluted Clorox couldn’t cure. I’m almost 30 and stories such as these are my lot when it comes to love. I’m just in between blessings right now.
Do you have an awkward church dating tale? Do you have questions about dating, love or being saved and sexy?