Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Tara and I worked at Downey Municipal Court together. That was back when they had municipal courts. There weren't many black folks working there and Tara and I, at the time, clicked the most. Vanessa worked in accounting and she was cool. A Mexican-American woman with bleached blond hair just a few years older. She wore cute clothes and shoes. That counted.

One day Vanessa invited Tara and me to her church. It was an evening service and I forgot what the event was but, we accepted. Tara and I spent many weekends together. We went to movies, parties, double dates....That particular Sunday night, we went to Vanessa's church. It was way out in Orange County somewhere.

We took our seats way in the back. Most of the congregation we Mexicans and whites and Mexicans who looked like they identified as white, if one can peruse a crowd and make such an assumption. Now let me say here, I was reared in the church. A black church at that. So I know the shenanigans. Tara wasn't though and all the hand waving praise seemed a little theatric for her. So whatever the special event was for, they had a guest preacher come out. The pastor spoke briefly again before he introduced the guest speaker. The hallelujahs seemed sparing during his talk, but all this is just my perspective, please understand.

Then the guest came up. Almost immediately he had our attention. The whole audience. He was handsome and charismatic. As he was in full flow, the pastor of the church stood up and stopped the guest from speaking and said, "The Holy Spirit is giving me a message and it is telling me to tell you all to stand and speak in tongues!" Then he snapped his fingers and just like THAT they all spoke in tongues and shouted. It all stopped with another SNAP of his fingers. Then he turned to the guest preacher and instructed him to continue. And of course now who could just pick up with the same flow after that? Ask me, the pastor was being shown up by a younger, fresher, minister.

The next day as Tara and I were at our desks, Vanessa approached us and asked, "So, do you have any questions about what you experienced last night?"

"No, I'm cool. Thanks though." Was all I had for her.

"Me too." Tara said.

"Well if you do, don't be afraid to ask."

I wanted to tell her not to be afraid to tell her player hating pastor to stop lying on the Holy Spirit and interrupting people when they are speaking. But I didn't. I just didn't.

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