A co-worker of mine invited me to attend his church and the last few weeks I've been attending. Surprisingly lightning hasn't struck me down when I entered. It's a Pentecostal church that's very lively. Think "can I get an Amen from the congregation" kind of thing. The service is very loud and emotional, which is a shock to someone who grew up attending solemn Catholic masses, but still the pastor and the parish as a whole seem to have good hearts.
Last Sunday I met an interesting lady. She is an older woman who calls herself Windy Cindy for reasons unbeknownst to me. She grasped my hand and welcomed me to the church and started a conversation with me that took an odd turn.
"Are you new here?" she asked seeming genuine.
"Yes," I said. "My coworker has invited to attend the service."
"Praise the Lord then," she said in a giddy disposition. "It's nice that friends bring you to the Lord."
"Yes," I said. "It's very touching to have people looking out for my spiritual health."
A wave of confusion came over her and she paused for a moment, then handed me a bottle of Mango juice.
"I was wondering if you'd like to fast," she said as I took the bottle.
"Err. I really don't know anything about it," I said examining the juice.
"Well Jesus fasted for 40 days..." She went on to tell me about Christ's fasting in the desert, which was a story I've heard many times, but she continued to tell it as I've just been exposed to the event.
"Well yes," I agreed. "Jesus did fast."
"Yes and when you fast the voices from the flesh disappear and God become clearer," she stated.
"Really?" I said.
"Yes," she said seemingly proud of the education she was giving. "You can hear God's will and know more about your purpose."
"Well that's cool," I said. "I'll look into it."
"You know I try to spread the word of God everywhere I go," she said with a proud smile.
"I'm sure God appreciates that," I said. I was kind of lost on what to say at this point. People were coming up to shake my hand and I could sense they were trying to get me to turn my attention away from her.
"Yes praise him," she said. "I went to South Center and walked around and told everyone I saw to have a great day for the Lord. I do that so they can do the same to other people and the seed can be planted."
"Wow," I said with a slight amount of shock. "You walked around saying that?"
"Yes I did," she said proudly. "Then someone called the cops."
She was still giddy at this point, so I had to ask what happened next.
"I told the cops to have a great day for the Lord and they thanked me. So the word of God was planted in them and they can spread his wonderful message," she went on with a very chipper attitude about it.
"Well that's nice," I said. "I'm sure the police took it well."
"They did call the paramedics," she stated with a smile. "And they took me to Valley Medical Center."
"Yeah," she said still with a smile. "It was a blessing cause I got to wish everyone there to have a great day in the Lord and they still keep in contact with me and I tell them to praise his name and they can do the same and the Lord works in such great ways and ....."
She went on babbling about her experience with the medical professionals. Someone came by and said hi to her and took her aside, but not before she gave me some business cards with her name 'Windy Cindy'.
The pastor then came up to me and told me that she's bipolar and she tends to babble and asked me to not be freaked out by it. Story is she had a nervous breakdown at some point and has never been normal since. Poor lady.
I've been to church many times, but this is the first time I've received juice.
"No religion can long continue to maintain its purity when the church becomes the subservient vassal of the state." - Felix Adler