Thursday, January 10, 2013
Amen or oh me
For as long as I can remember, I have not felt comfortable saying "amen" in church. It's just...not me, at all.
I'm a private person, very aware of the way I express. And when I hear a really powerful, or true, or poignant point during a sermon...I don't feel a need to express externally.
And if I DID need to say anything...I'm not sure "amen" is what I would choose.
I stumbled into a black church a few years ago (I have no idea if it's pc to say black church or African American or....? Someone feel free to tell me! Just know I am not trying to be offensive in any way!) Well, really, it was like I was drug in. My friend Elise and I had just left a different church and were driving home with the windows open, enjoying the California sun, when we heard this soul moving music. There on the corner was a little old church. The music and energy coming from that church...I don't even remember talking about whether or not we would stop and go in, we just did. The pews were crammed full, the music was hopping, the people were dancing and shouting and lost in worship. There were Kleenex boxes being passed around like offering plates, and I absolutely fell in love with it. And best of all, during the sermon, instead of saying "amen" , the women called out a loud and throaty "uuuuh huh!" and "preach it".
The truth is, I wish I weren't such a private person...wish I were better at cutting loose. Wish I could dance down the aisle, or shout an "uh huh", or cry or clap or...anything without one tiny thought about what's appropriate and what's not. Wish I could just always do what I feel and think a little less. Working at it...But, in the meantime, I just don't know what an uh huh will sound like coming from me, but I do know, that I'm much more of a "preach it!" kind of a girl, than an "amen" kind of a girl.
All of THAT to say, I think I'm going to have to be an "amen" sayer these next two years. We went to the Pentecostal church in Matamaka last week, and it was...a blessing, to put it simply. Our hope is that we can make it there every other week. During the sermon, the pastor would translate at various times. And when a pastor is translating just for you, and you are the only person able to understand a certain part of the sermon, and the pastor says "amen?" , you really just have to say amen back, don't you? I mean, what kind of a person wouldn't? I absolutely agreed with everything he was saying, so no problem there...it's just....I've never much liked saying amen. Maybe I'll try responding with a "preach it!". I'm sure mark would give me the look of death for that....