We decided to go to a different church yesterday. It was a church we had been wanting to go to for many years because we know the Reverend and admire him personally and professionally. He used to work at the Y before he became a Reverend so he's been a family friend of my husband's family for a looong time.
Anyway, the church we went to is a Baptist church, with about 99 percent of the members being African American. We promised each other that we'd surround Tariku with as many people as possible that look like him so he wouldn't feel alone or weird for looking different than we were. Plus, we knew it was just as important for us to feel what Tariku feels most days.
I'm going to tell you, the church was amazing. I've NEVER been met with such open arms at a new church. When we walked in it was hugs, handshakes and high fives everywhere. "How are you doing"s and "God Bless you"s also in abundance.
And my Baptist brothers and sisters can WORSHIP! The 2 hour service (a tinch longer than the ones we're used too. :)) was very powerful for us, and I found myself choked up a time or two. Just powerful.
Because, as Reverend Parker said, "We're not in a museum, we're not in a library, we'll worship God and we'll call out to him because we need him and he needs to hear us say it!"
It reminded me a lot of our time in Ethiopia. A little different in that I could understand what they were saying yesterday, but the heart and soul behind the praising and the worship was the same. It was between them and God, and it didn't matter who was a witness.
And Tariku? He did his infamous Ethiopian stare. It was pretty obvious he was comfortable in his seat. It was pretty obvious, when he stood to clap or yelled out, "Thank you, Jesus" that he knew what he was doing. It was pretty obvious that that boy is a child of God and knows it.
We know it too, my God yes we do.