so, as most of you know, i lived in northern california most of my life. even after starting school in arkansas, i relocated to the bay area for a short period of time before graduating from college. i had lots (and lots) of interesting encounters up there, and some of them will stick with me for life.
i met a guy named paul. paul was an interesting fellow, totally on fire for the lord but down to earth at the same time. i liked him. we could talk for hours on the phone. he had a rough experience with his family a few years prior to us meeting, so a lot of these conversations were deep and emotional. in fact, i was really starting to fall for this guy. (mind you.. he was probably one of several that i was "dating" at the time... i liked keeping my options open.) at any rate, paul invited me to his church for an afternoon service on sunday.
this is where the red flags should have gone up.
1. no one, NO ONE still has afternoon services. i mean, someone probably does. but that is like a thing of the past for black churches that aren't in the country. (no offense.. my dad just had to go to a men's day at one of these last week!) my white friends who don't know what i'm talking about, bare with me on this... no one likes going to a special men's service, or ushers' day, or youth day, or whatever. not that we don't love the special groups in the church, there are just other ways to honor them. something was wrong with this from the start.
2. the church was in san francisco. he had me park my car (where, by the way, i locked my keys in my car) and ride with him to some random place nestled among the row houses. flag number two. no signage. what church, what BUILDING in san francisco is completely unmarked? i could have been on my way to meet my maker! instead, i followed him in.
3. no people inside. well. that's less of a flag because, as i mentioned, there aren't a whole lot of people hanging around churches that have afternoon services in the first place.
and 4. he sat me on the FRONT ROW and said he'd be right back. really, paul, the front row?
and then he disappeared. the service began and he was nowhere in sight.
he walks out.
into the pulpit.
wearing something like this:
|image from gaspard|
i kid you NOT!
i almost had a heart attack. he never even TOLD ME he was a minister! are you kidding me right now? i don't think i even hear one word of his sermon.
not only does he preach, he does alter call. the kind where the close the doors and tell you to put money on the altar and he prophesies and calls people out in the audience. oh my goodness. i think that was the longest two hours (or more) of my life.
and after the service?
what is your craziest major lifestyle discovery of someone you've dated in the past? i'd love to hear it haha...