I remember walking into the church with my grey Asian style dress and metallic silver three-inch chunky heels. I was late because the night before I'd been in a dusty motel with a married man. It was an all-nighter, so out of guilt, I rushed home, washed the scent of his testosterone from my exhausted body, rolled a Backwood, and tucked it out of sight in the ashtray of my 1970 drop top burgundy Dodge Polara. Finally locating the AM station that played gospel music, I roared down the street, in route to Someone I really didn’t know I needed.
When I walked through the door, I watched as the Pastor struggled to keep his composure. His voice changed, as his eyes followed me to my seat on the very back row. I knew I was his type. I had a feeling that if he wasn’t a man of God and if I didn’t respect the fact that he was a man of God, I could be in his pockets too. But I sat down, admiring the fact that someone, as holy as he, could find me attractive. Looking back, I now know that wasn’t the reason his eyes followed me. I think he was impressed with the fact that I’d shown up for church. That even though I was dressed for the club, he was genuinely thankful that I’d brought my whorish attire, mindset and life into the church. It was offering time, and this was the part of the service that I both liked and loathed. I liked the fact that I looked good and would be seen, but I loathed the fact that every time I brought my tithe, the women in the choir would squint their eyes and poke out their lips. Their facial expression said what I felt. ‘What you doin’ here and why did you dress like that?’ Not knowing that I’d grown up as a Jehovah’s Witness, had no church attire etiquette training, on top of being an active side chick, their disdain made me not want to be there. I only attended because my gold-digging home girl and her family had been long time members. So whenever she extended the invitation, I went because after all, I wanted to be like her when I grew up in my whorish ways.
After garnering the attention of the choir and much of the congregation, I must admit, on my way back to my seat, I made sure to saunter a little bit more. “Since you watchin’ and all.” As the Pastor preached, I kept thinking, "I don’t really know what he’s saying", but I knew I needed it. All the while, my mind was fidgety and couldn’t wait to fire up that good I had in my ashtray. The Pastor finally gave the benediction and it was his custom to greet everyone at the door. As he grabbed my hand, I noticed he held it a little longer than the others. The whore in me was like, ‘Yeah, I knew what it was sir.’ But looking back, I see the man of God took a little extra time with me because he knew the condition of my dirty soul. He was simply going out of his way to make sure I felt comfortable and would come back. He knew how judgmental some of his congregants had been. He knew there were those who didn’t appreciate my attendance. He knew, in his spirit, that he was holding the hand of an adulterous side chick. In fact, each Sunday he’d hold my hand a little longer than usual and now I know why. Because he knew it was going to take time to get that whoredom out of me. He knew it was going to take a while before I would yield to the working of the Word and the Holy Spirit in me. He just wanted to make sure that I knew I was always welcomed, no matter how out of place I felt.
Before he let my hand go, he’d always ask, ‘You coming back next Sunday?’ I’d smile and tell him yes; walking away feeling a little lighter and loved. The love I so wanted from the men I’d spent my Saturday nights with, I was experiencing through the man of God on Sunday. Nowadays, it’s not safe to say such a thing with all the scandals. But I assure you, this man of God was like a father. And now I know, that was God making sure that the love I went in search for between the sheets, could be experienced through the doors of the church. And though I felt loved, welcomed, and my heavy soul was a lot lighter, that didn’t stop me from rushing to my old school. As I sat in my front seat with a sense of relief, I quickly pulled out my ash tray, turned on my radio and started my engine. Because I respected the church, I kindly dropped my top, changed the gospel station and fired it up as I bopped a-ways down the block. I hadn’t even made it to the intersection, before that good was in the wind.
Why did I share my story? Because there are those of you who feel out of place in church. You know where you were Saturday night and you know what or who you’re going to do Sunday afternoon. But don’t let that talk you out of going into the house of the Lord. Go! Let Him change your heart. Its not going to happen overnight and there will be many nights when your life and legs will remain open. But don’t stop going. You’ve been letting it do-what-it-do for years. Have enough patience with yourself, and God, to give Him the same time you put in doin-what-you-did. My prayer is that He sends you to a man of God like Pastor Sargeant. May there be a man of God that can love on you like a father.
You’ll be happy to know that today is my twenty-year anniversary of giving my life to Christ. And I can thankfully say, that Pastor Sargeant would be pleased to know that eighteen of those years were spent with my legs closed. It took some time, but the side chick that used to put it in the wind and made it do-what-it-do, is now sexually pure, so know that there’s hope for you. Don’t give up on yourself, and don’t think that hoes can't become housewives. #excusemyEnglish They can, if you’ll just love on and not judge them when they come through your church’s doors. Copyright 2018 © Real Issues Publishing®. All rights reserved.