I remember the weekday mornings, my mother would drop me off at my grandmother's house and one of the first things she'd have us (my cousin Teenie who was my age and her husband Jimmy, who we called Big Daddy) all kneel around her bed and each of us would go around and say our prayers out loud. Back then I wasn't afraid but now I feel anxiety when asked to pray aloud, because back then I was able to have a conversation with God and not fear what those around me would think. Now I sometimes fear that my prayers might not be good enough, not good enough for the people around me. I wonder if I also feel perhaps that my prayers aren't good enough for God. And then I wonder how did I get this way. When did I start believing that my prayers needed to be polished and revised to be heard? I'm working on freeing myself of that.
<Just got lost in a prayer>
The highlight of a Sunday service for me was the sermon, the story that we'd look to in scripture and the story the preacher would tell to bridge the gap between that biblical story and the story of our everyday lives and material conditions. We/I needed those links, those stories, those metaphors because they gave and still give us/me faith, faith that the impossible is possible. The impossible is possible, like walking on water or water that can be turned to wine. I paid close attention to the words of the preacher, but not just the words. The silences, the spaces between the words, the breaks were sometimes just as telling...a moan, a wave of the hand... I noted moments when I didn't quite understand or agree, but I was always listening for the message God had for me. All my years of church, Sunday school, vacation bible school, choir rehearsals, and what I remember most is faith that the impossible is possible. What I remember is the will to persevere. I hold on to the belief that God is love and love is the greatest gift we have to offer one another. I learned this through Christianity, but I also had to unlearn a lot of what had been taught to me because it wasn't love and it wasn't God. I know that Christianity has been a colonialist project, but I know that is not all it has been for me. It is but one mode of accessing something else, God, love, the divine. If I hadn't been raised in the church, I don't think I'd feel so passionately about injustice and freedom.
|Mom, Oldest Brother, Me, Aunt|
So this was a long road to get to my easy like Sunday Morning, which didn't occur back then until the late afternoon. The after church moments. The moments when we'd meet up with family at a restaurant or at my aunt's house for Sunday dinner and games. We'd change into our play clothes. We'd laugh. We'd eat and it was it is easy. I remember those moments as warm, tender, and fun, so much fun. Those were the moments I never wanted to end and those are the moments I remember on easy Sunday mornings.