Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Spirituality in the Black Home

Disclaimer: I was afraid to write about this topic b/c some of my past topics and future topics, but this is another aspect of me so read on.  Also, tell me I'm not the only one that had this poster in their room growing up!
So I was sitting in church on Sunday when I get a text message from Jonny Casanova asking me what my article title would be this week. I sat and I pondered for about twenty seconds then forgot all about picking a topic. Why? Because I became heavily engrossed in the song that was being played in church. If you’ve been to a black church, you know what I’m talking about. It’s like the club for black Christians. Like if you’re in the club with a drink in your hand and they play your favorite song. You look around and a few more people are letting go some of their inhibitions as they sway with their cranberry and vodka. You then feel like this is YOUR song, and that YOU must dance and let everyone know that you’re not playing games when you say you love this song. That’s what church does to black people. (And I can only speak for black people)

I sat there and began to clap my hands and pat my foot a little bit. Then next to me, on the other side of my brother there were four little kids, 3 girls and a boy, that were banging their tambourines, creating variations of the beat that the drummer was orchestrating. Three and four year olds on the off-beat, adding to the musical aroma in the church still astonishes me. Then people begin to harmonize and sing a song that they might know and might not, I did not. But you catch the words and you begin to sing your range, tenor is mine even if it’s not that good. And before you know you’re standing and singing and dancing. I look over and my grandmother is smiling up at me, teeth shining, and I look into the pulpit and the pastor’s wife makes eye contact with me and nods smiling and I do the same. I know now that I will be getting hands laid on me later in the service because she noticed I’m in town. And I look forward to this.

I then pick up my phone and text Jonny the name of this article.

For me and for many black people in America, church seems to be a place where you can enjoy yourself and make your way closer to heaven at the same time. It’s a win win. The only thing that kinda makes me feel some loss is that we start at 10am and don’t finish til about 2pm… on a good day and I have to miss my Giants play. Church is a release and provides many of us with our sense of spirituality. Being raised in a church has shaped me in many of my morals and values, whether I express them outwardly everyday or not. I guess I’m at fault there, but I think we all do it. College has been the most recent catalyst behind this.

Every day I find myself asking the Lord to forgive me of my sins, those of omission and those of commission. I know we all know we can do better, but hey we’re only human and the Lord knows that we are weak.

Spirituality surrounds me in every aspect of my life. Like last weekend I awake from this CRAZY dream. Like I’m talking about calling Bill Clinton on a cell phone while running for the DC metro in New York through a high school and through some broken levies crazy, all after my Trailblazer transformed into the caboose of a train. I joking told my mom about the dream at breakfast, and you know what she did? She smiled and says, “That’s my confirmation from the Lord. God is trying to tell you that… and she went on and on.” I for one do not see how in the world any of that has to do with God telling me anything, but I listen and take it in. This goes to show that black Christians translate any and EVERYTHING into a spiritual thing. Has shaped my life.

I’ve done some wrong in my life, and to overcome all of it I went to God. I remember a time in my life where I put all of my Christian music on a playlist and listened to that every day on my way anywhere and looked up for no one who may pass by. It was my alone time with the Lord and re-concentrating my life on what it should be. This gave me peace like no other. You may be agnostic or atheist or any other form of religious follower, even scientology, but I know that I was granted a peace like nothing before. If religion is no more than that, then I’m happy because I know I wouldn’t have gotten it any other way. This is probably due to the fact that in the black Christian household the Lord is ALWAYS in control and when I felt like all was lost, I figure it’s done for a reason.

In my church, people go to the front to have hands laid on them and prayer interceded on their behalf. These people, me included, go up front hands raised and allow the pastor to touch us and we seem to lose control once again, saying to me that God is really in control. Some people don’t even have to be touched, just getting close or feeling the breath of the pastor can send them into a frenzy of anything from sprinting and thrashing children who are in the aisles who shoulda been paying attention, to kneeling and sobbing for 15 minutes. It’s all what the Lord wants to do and black Christians are all for it.

On another note, nothing burns me up more than hypocrites of religion, especially black ones. I’m Christian but do I adhere to all the guidelines 24/7? Absolutely not. But when Al Sharpton starts talking, I have to turn the channel. And when Jeremiah Wright opened his mouth and about shot opportunity in the face, I cringed. I don’t profess to be holier than thou, but when figure heads become extreme it’s mad upsetting. They can make people who may not be so deeply rooted in it extract themselves even further. Check out Pastor Kerney Thomas….. GAWWWD WILL HEAL YOU! Man shut up! He’s a hoax. Watch this video…

I don’t really know where I wanted to go with this article other than express my fondness for the black Christian culture and thank it for shaping me, even through all the dirt that I do. I’m appreciative of influence it has had on my parents and the fact that they raised me the way that they did. The Lord is at the helm in my life and has great plans for the P!per. Lol. YESSIR!

L’Chaim… P!ed P!per

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