Yesterday I attended a baptism and a funeral.
As if the 2 events weren’t already on opposite ends of the spectrum, both were a bit different than any other event of its kind that I had previously attended.
Religion is a funny thing. Not haha funny but peculiar.
I am not sure that I had ever been to an Episcopalian church before, so yesterday was most likely a first. Very different from any other denomination’s approach that I have seen.
And the kicker for me was…it was predominantly Black people.
Yes, I get it. There are all races, creeds and everything else who adhere to every form of praise and worship. But this really caught me off guard.
Glad I could have that experience and see how other people approach their Sunday mornings.
Less than 2 hours later, I showed up at another spot (not a church) at what I thought was going to be a funeral.
It most certainly was not.
When it comes to services after a person passes, I have generally attended pretty standard ones. Some had a little more laughter than others, some a little more preaching; but pretty standard funerals for the most part.
Well yesterday was my first memorial. And even though the location was clearly a clue, and my wife telling me it might not be what I was expecting based on the time and location, I was still thinking “standard funeral” procedure.
Long story short: I got to the location and there was music playing, a buffet spread, drinks were flowing, and there was a cheerful, celebratory atmosphere. It was a legit celebration of life for my old co-worker/shut the pool table down at the club back in the day partner.
As a newbie to such an event, I was so uncomfortable for the first 15 minutes. I already felt out of place because I didn’t know anyone there. Add to that, I could have ordered a shot of Don Julio at any point.
My senses were twisted.
Once my homie Robert showed up, I felt a little better. But my comfort level truly changed when the MC (yes there was an MC) was praying and said “If there is anyone in here feeling…uncomfortable, take that feeling away, Lord.”
Post prayer and once the homie’s closest friends took to the stage and spoke on the great man that he was, my whole outlook changed.
It reminded me of the Nelson Mandela memorial where everyone was taking pics and having a good time. I didn’t get it back then. But I certainly get it now after experiencing something similar first hand.
Bottom line and overall lesson of the day for me was this:
Love is Love. How you show it isn’t nearly as important as simply making sure THAT you show it. And love was definitely shown at both of these places.
Happy Baptism Landon.