“Oh for the love of biscuits, we have church tomorrow,” I said one Saturday night before going to bed. Sunday morning comes earlier than I expected it. As I lay in bed with my eyes lids drooping and my breath slowing down by every millisecond, I hear someone screaming for me to wake. I think it’s probably my mom, but I’m not sure. I can’t focus right now.
I ignore the screaming as I roll around and hug my pillow. Kids my age usually do not wake up at 7:00am just to go to church. After calling my name so many times, the person suddenly stops. I sigh with joy. The moment the yawn leaves my mouth I hear footsteps – the slow yet quickened footsteps of a hunter about to catch his prey.
It’s like this every Sunday. Someone screams my name for about a minute, and I tune them out. I am forced to go to church when I don’t even believe in any of my church’s views.
I enter a huge room painted white with rows of chairs all around, arranged in a detailed pattern noticeable to anyone who comes into the room. At the far end lays a space with a stand. I gaze at the speakers everywhere with their coverings in black, green, and yellow. The floor is lined with red carpet.
At the back of the room are about ten black chairs arranged in a stagger form. The chairs in front of the black ones are also staggered. Hidden away in one of the corners of the room is a huge board with white and black colors matched evenly. Next to that board is a golden paper with words written by a magnificent magician. One stomp after another and perfectly made creatures start pouring down into the room. Are they angels? Creatures with porcelain faces start to walk into the room at exactly 10:00am, not a second early or a second late.
Many storage buildings surround the church, except in the front, which is facing the parking spaces. Right behind the parking spaces is a crowd of hedges, where there probably used to be a storage building.
Inside is neither magnificent nor any better than the outside. The walls are painted in creamy white with posters everywhere having something to do with God and Jesus. The pulpit at the far end of the room has a small poster on it saying in block and italics, “In God We Trust,” to show the room is a church.
The area around the pulpit is full of different kinds of flowers. The plants range from hibiscus to daisies. Of all the plants and flowers in the room, one sticks out the most. The plant has an almost fading greenish color with its spines sticking out of it, making a person feel the burden of it. The plant senses my distaste for the room, so it is portraying my internal feeling. The almost fading, greenish color represents my frustration from having to come to church, while the spines sticking out shows my desire to break free and run fast away. The plant lost its purpose in life and has no meaning anymore.
There are different types of posters in all corners of the room showing the church’s commitment to God. Church service is supposed to start at exactly 10:00am, but when the clock strikes 10:00am only a few people are actually sitting down. People pretend to be very committed to church, but they never arrive early or make an effort to do something. No one wants to stay after service to help clean up, but they view themselves dedicated to the church.
In church, everyone comes in their most beautiful apparel, but outside of the church they look different. Some people in the church tell others it is wrong to wear a gold watch or something like that, but they end up wearing it. One time someone made this ridiculous rule that “no one should wear high heels or pumps to church because it’s defying God’s name.” That rule was a straight out lie, something someone randomly made up.
The person who made that rule just didn’t have enough guts to wear high heels and were tempted to make a rule that would affect many in the church. The next Sunday, I intentionally wore my black 2½-inch high heel pumps to church. When the woman saw me, she was mortified and outraged. She told my mom, thinking my mom was going to do something about. My mom straight out asked her, “What’s wrong with wearing pumps?”
Church is about worshipping God, and not indulging in people’s lifestyles. As church progresses, I can’t help my frustration from showing. I feel like I have heard all the messages preached in church numerous times, but I still have to hear it again, over and over. My pastor has this idealistic view that hearing a message more than thrice will make it stick in your memory and you will understand it more, but the more I hear the message, the more I get annoyed and frustrated.
Once I reach my frustration point, I just tune everything out and I pretend I am not in church. I take out my book and start writing a new fiction story. I could be doing something more productive with the time I sit in church every Sunday.
As I sit in church looking around me, something catches my eye. I turn around and see my dad with his chin on his palm. His head is tilted to the wall, his tiny little eyeglasses facing a different direction, while a little bit of drool trails down his mouth. The light in the room casts a shadow over his face giving him a very funny facial expression, and I realize he is sleeping. What happened to the dad who, an hour ago, was screaming at me to wake up and go to church? He is sitting there enjoying his sleep and ignoring everyone.
Right next to him is my mom, who is twirling her pen. She is so disinterested in what the pastor is saying, I don’t even think she realizes he is talking. After church service ends, I ask my mom what’s the use of coming to church if she and my dad are just going to end up not paying attention. She gives me an abrupt and brief answer, “Church is good for you.”
Church service has always been a part of my family’s Sunday routine. As a kid I loved church, but when I moved to America four years, I started hating it. My hate comes from the ideology that my Sunday’s are being sacrificed. The kids there don’t view things the same way I do. Sometimes I feel annoyed when I am talking to them.
Even though my parents hate church, they still attend because they believe it’s the thought that counts, not the action of a person. My parents strongly believe in God, so they use church as an indirect way to thank God for his services. As much as I hate it, I am forced to go.
Our different views of church made me realize how different my views are from my parents’ views. I will continue to attend church until I move out of my parents’ house. Then…