Monday, May 16, 2011
Today I was sitting in our church in the U.S. with it's large sanctuary and comfortable padded pews while the full worship team and band played skillfully. I kept waiting for anyone in the congregation to embrace me and whisper in my ear "Dios te bendiga." But it never happened. In fact in Mexico they don't just embrace - they kiss you. During meet and greet time during the service today, people would say things to me in English and my mind was responding with, "Igualmente." which is Spanish for "Same to you." I smiled and nodded a little dizzy with culture confusion. I embraced a member of the church like I was accustomed to doing in Mexico, and I could tell he was a little stunned I didn't shake his hand. As I sat surrounded by several hundred church members in a gorgeous sanctuary enjoying the state of the art sound system and latest video announcements, I found myself longing for my little cramped Mexican church with it's white plastic chairs,and old Christmas decorations on the walls. I imagined Cruz singing loud and off key with all the passion and enthusiasm she could muster as she literally jumped for joy leading worship with CD tracks because our tiny church in Mexico has no instruments. But what we lack in expertise we more than make up for with fervor. I smiled remembering how everyone in our church in Mexico clapped, but rarely on beat or in unison. All the little kids would pound their tambourines during the fast songs, but as soon as worship started little Floracita would gather up the tambourines from which half the rattles were missing. I miss the broad smiles and trying to understand all that was being said. I miss the long tear filled prayers and even longer sermons that I struggled to stay awake through. I miss eating tacos after church with Mariana and Armin, our pastor. I miss all the earthy richness and warmth of my little Mexican church family. Despite all the things we don't have in Mexico, what we do have is so full, so alive and so authentic. Hasta luego Iglesia de Senor. Mi corazon esta con tu.