When I was a Christian…Part II

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Apparently, Rev. Polite was doing his job and he never knew it. Each Sunday I would sit there and listen to the Rev’s sermons, enthralled by the imagery he used. Here I was, believing that King Nebuchadnezzar, refused to believe something about what God said or promised, and he was actually growing feathers and eating grass as would a cow or a sheep. This was a time when you did not disbelieve anything in the bible. So, that when Rev. Polite preached of the mule talking to his owner about not advancing forward because the mule could see an angel with a sword standing in front of him blocking the way and the owner could not. The was no doubt in my mind about the power of God, and I kept studying and reading.
I read and read. Low and behold, these stories were true. Of course they were true, because they were written in the bible and if it were in the bible, by God, it was true. No doubt. The absolute truth. I was in great belief, a believer now and written in the bible was one should “study to shew thyself approved unto the lord…” And, study I did.

Yet, unbeknownst to any of my family and friends I was also intrigued with magic and witchcraft. I would visit the Magical Book Store in National City, knowing that I wouldn’t bump into friends or family. There was also a book store on University Ave, that I would frequent. The name eludes me, but again I knew I would not run into anyone I knew.

I would stand in there and read for hours, different parts of books. I read much of the Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Symbols while standing in that store. I was still a Christian and would hear people talking about how going into such places could expose people to demons that would attach themselves to you and disrupt your life. I would listen knowing I was going into these places and felt lucky I never carried home a demon. My studies of the bible persisted, because I was studying to show myself approved.

By the time I was sixteen, I was fully involved with the church, or at least where I felt comfortable being involved with Ark Missionary Baptist Church. I was asked to join the choir on several occasions, but I never could quite get used to seeing myself as a singer. I did, however, volunteer to be the Master of Ceremony for all the events, from church plays to whenever there were church concerts. Soon, I really felt the need to be baptized and accept the Lord as my personal Savior. So, at the end of service one Sunday I came up when it was time for alter call.

I will never forget the look on my mother’s face on the day of my baptism. I could see she was filled with pride, it was as if a prophecy was coming to fruition for her, since her father, my grandfather, proclaimed I was going to be a preacher the first time he heard my voice crying as a newborn over the phone. I must admit, it was a strange feeling for me that day. Not, because of what my grandfather proclaimed, nor my proud mom, but because of the belief I held about the whole process and what I had been reading, studying and believing. I really and truly believed.

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