|Pastor of my church.|
Roberta and I were on time for Sunday Service. Mr. P. and Teresa with her daughter came soon. Doris never showed up. I was not surprised: she called me, and I said that I will pick her up, if she can be on time. She opted for going by herself. Perhaps, I should've been more concerned about my acquaintance than about being punctual? She is late a lot, that's her trait, but should I feel superior and alienate her because of it?
I liked that the songs that we sang to the accompaniment of a small band were original and written by the lead singer. The pastor wore simple slacks and a polo shirt. He talked of success, as God sees it. I listened for a while, then drifted peacefully into a dreamworld.
Mr. P. nudged me, and I came to to hear things that I really was trying to find out about success and how to find it!
The congregation at Creekside looked very nice. They were people of different races and ages; many of them brought children. Some welcomed me and Roberta, especially at the time allotted for it in the Service. But I sensed a coldness there. They would introduce themselves and shake my hand with a smile, but their eyes would then slide away uncomfortably, and none of them wanted to talk to me after the sermon finished. I gave it some time: I didn't leave right away or anything like that! I checked, if what I was feeling was true. No one came over to welcome us as visitors. Even Mr. P. busied himself talking to Teresa and her child. Roberta and I sat right behind his back, as he chatted with Teresa, but he never bothered to include us in a conversation. After a while, I got Roberta and brought her to the car. I had the same cold feeling at Creekside as in my own church!
I went to say goodbye to Mr. P. and Teresa then. Didn't want to be impolite. He asked me, if I saw the difference between that church and my own. I said: "No!"
"Well," - he said in a very pedantic tone - "God's spirit is here!"
"As I understand it" - was my reply - "God's spirit is everywhere!"
As doubting as I am about my deeds and perceptions, I believe that I was not wrong in seeing the Creeekside for what it is: a fine place, if you already belong to it, but a cold shoulder, if you don't.