Today, my HeavenlyParent did.
I went to Asale Kimaada's, the lady who runs Grandmothers Who Help, church. She wanted me to enter the names of her contacts into her database, and we tried for a few days to meet up. Unfortunately, we both had too many other obligations. Today I decided to meet her at her own church.
I once visited her there. I got directions from Google, but when I tried to use them, I found myself in Oakland downtown, a completely different place than before. I called Sonny and, after half an hour, he managed to send me a text message with directions. As I went on driving, I was aware that I was still going a different way from the last time.
"Turn left on San Leandro Blvd., turn right on Benheim St." I did. The directions said then: "Turn right on San Leandro Blvd." Wait a minute, I just got off that street! I drove up and down and sideways, but could not find the correct place. I parked on one of the bumpy, dirty side streets and tried to call Sonny. No answer. The whole street was strewn with garbage. "What am I doing here?" - I thought with exasperation - "This place is really disgusting!"
- "Watch!" - said a calm, quiet voice in my ear. All the negative emotions fled. I looked from the heart, from my conscience, noticing the children playing joyfully and the easy way a few young men were working together on a car. I saw not an alien place but somewhere, where people could use some help and also teach me something in the process of our association.
I still could not decide what to do about the church. I dialed Asale's number and left her a message, saying that I tried but couldn't find the place. I pulled out into the main street and immediately saw a sign that, finally, led me to Asale's church! I was an hour and a half late, but, fortunately, it's not unusual.
Asale met me at the door, her eyebrows almost touching her hairline. She just got my message that I wouldn't be coming. We hugged and she brought me to a seat. The minister already started to preach. He was a big African-American man, almost as wide as he was tall, but still young. He had complete authority over the congregation, though.
A lady in a pew in front of me handed me a Bible with today's passage marked by asterisks.
It was a part from the Acts, when Jesus told his disciples to go and wait for him in Jerusalem. They asked him if he was going to restore Israel from being Rome's underdog, and he replied that they should not be concerned about that.The preacher's point was that, we should not dictate God what He needs to do next. We should have faith and wait for Him to make us ready for the next step, meanwhile doing our work as Christians. The thing that caught my ear was the minister's sentence about, how God does not usually takes us out of unpleasant or difficult situations, but wants us to change our reality by ourselves, in other words, take responsibility for our circumstances.
Wasn't that what I was trying to decide about my own church? I don't feel comfortable to behave like nothing has changed and I among others still wholeheartedly believe in the teachings of Rev. Moon. But how to proceed, knowing that if I cut off from the church, I will cut off from my community and, possibly, even my husband?
Was that an answer to my prayers? Possibly! Something just led me to listen to the preacher very carefully. The church was Pentecostal, people started to really respond to the message by shouting "Amen!" and raising their hands to Heaven. The minister's voice, after a couple of hours of almost screaming, was raspy, but didn't lose it's power. He called those who wanted to receive the Holy Ghost to come to the front of the church. Most of us were praying. A few people, including the lady who sat in front of me and a young boy, came out to the stage and the minister and his deacons prayed over them. I noticed Asale and another lady stand behind the women, to keep them from harm if they fell down or felt faint. These practices are very different from mine, but I could respect my fellow humans in their quest for higher consciousness.
I have been in many various churches and experienced their ways of worship. Usually, I don't really relate to the Pentecostals. I respond to a calm, heartfelt speech, which appeals to my intellect as well as my soul. Today I could feel that people were sincere. They warmly greeted me after the service. I wanted to answer them with the same degree of warmth. I hope that I was, somewhat, successful!