Sunday, October 5, 2008
Finding the place where you belong is like finding the perfect shoe, or outfit. After a long day of hunting you finally see it, you try it on and its the perfect fit. That's how I view my experience with church. I can say that I've finally found a place that fits me, who I am, and what God is cultivating me to be for His glory and not my own. It took me a while to find that perfect fit for me. After some disappointing moments in my life I wanted to give up and call it a day, content to concede defeat and give up. For quite a while I had that awkward feeling of not fitting in anywhere, belonging anywhere. After me and Richard married in 1996, we began the hunt for a church home. But it seemed that every church we attended I never truly felt like I belonged. I wasn't like the others. I don't like Jane Austen novels, not a big fan of homeschooling my children, not particularly interested in scrap booking,....basically my cultural identity was extremely different from my counterparts. And by the same token, while I love the freedom of growing up in the black church, ie worshiping, praising, and soulful gospel...I grew tiered of the same old name it and claim it philosophy that has permeated the black church. Now, not all black churches are like that, but so many of them are. Because I'm black I'm expected to vote for Obama, like T.D. Jakes, and Juanita Bynum, and others. I'm expected to shout when the minister raises his voice, expected to dance when the organ plays. For a long time I felt like I was in limbo, caught between two worlds. I'm not a fan of T.D. Jakes or others who preach the name it and claim it false gospel. When I visit my mother's church, upon her request, there isn't a moment that goes by where I'm not srcreaming inside my head at the absurdity of it all. There was no where that I fit in. No one that I could identify with, and none that could identify with me. But at the same time they were like me, understood me, my struggles...understood what others could not. I used to miss that. If there is only 4 black people in the room, we gravitate to one another. Why?, because we can indentify with each other without condemnation, without expecting to leave behind our culture. Those of us who choose not to go to the traditional black church feel as though we are being stripped of our culture. I know that I'm not the only woman of color out there who has struggled with this. And I know many are struggling.
When you find that perfect fit you'll know. It's like a spring breeze washing over your body with the fragrance of lavendar. Thank you Radius church, for allowing me to be me.....finally the perfect fit.