It’s not easy for me to fit in. Sometimes I try to blend, but it never works. My shocking white hair emphasizes my white skin. My skin is actually not white as most of you don’t actually have black skin. Mine is more of a tan, given the time I spend in the sun; yours is shades of brown.
“Looks like you took a wrong turn somewhere, sweetie,” is written all over your faces. You shake my hand and give me the courtesy hug, but you can’t hide your confusion and curiosity.
I don’t even try to sneak in anymore; I walk tall into your sanctuary. I sit by myself and I smile and nod and shake hands and hug and wear the same expression you do. I clap and praise and stomp and sway with the same soul you do. I wear my style not like you but like me. I see your glances stealing my way. I’m not intimidated or offended. I’m here to worship the same God you do. I’m here to close my eyes and find Him as you do what you have to do to find Him or be found.
Sometimes I find Him in the music. Sometimes I find Him in the message. Sometimes I find Him in the silence. Sometimes I find Him in a voice, a solo, a scream, a spoken tongue. Sometimes I find Him in your dance or mine. I know it baffles you that I know the lyrics to your songs and my rhythm never misses yours as we bounce.
I watch your whines and wails and weaves, yes I do. But not to be entertained. Sure, I study you as you study me and my hair. I bite down on my bitter-tasting teeth to find the God I sometimes feel has left me though I know He hasn’t. I come to the place I know I have the best chance of finding Him. I come to the place where I not only hear the music but feel it move through my limbs like lava. I come to the place where your pastor’s cadence echoes in my ears for hours or days. Yes, I know the meaning behind that, too. I understand the rise and fall and pause and sing-song of his voice that assists his message in staying in me.
I also see you walk the aisles to get a closer look at me. I see you watch me from the pulpit and sound booth and choir. I see you study my clothes and my carriage and wonder, Who is this white girl?
I’m not here to spy on you; I’m not here to steal from you; I’m too selfish. I’m here for me. I’m not afraid or ashamed to step into your church and worship your God who is also mine. I’m not going to crumble under your stare.
He says, “The Holy Ghost is in here today. Some of you sit there unmoved and dignified. You have to leave early? See ya later! We’re gettin’ our praise on today.”
And I leave early. Didn’t find Him today. Maybe next week.