On a cold Sunday morning, a 9 year old girl was awakened by her oldest sister.
“Get up. Church is on.”
Blankets wrapped around her to ward off the chilly air in the apartment, she stumbles into the living room where her 4 sisters and cousin crowd around to watch church on TV.
“I wish we could go to real church,” she mutters.
“There’s one across the street,” the oldest says. “Do you want to go?”
So six girls dress in their best, wrap feeble coats around themselves and walk across 5 lanes of busy traffic. They walk through glass doors and stop.
Suddenly, this adventure feels misguided.
“Where do we go?”
“We are the only black people in here.”
“This place is really big.”
“They are all rich.”
“It’s so warm in here. Doesn’t that feel good?”
They find their way to the worship center and actually locate a familiar face from school. Unaware of protocol, they are relieved to talk to their friend in order to ask important questions.
“How long is your church?”
“Why are you singing?”
”Do I have to stand up? Everyone will see that we are the only black girls here.”
When church is over, they ask permission to participate in raising money for single mothers and their children. Each girl takes a can to collect loose change and promises to fill it up.
“I think we should come back.”
“Will they call out our names next week if we are here?”
“I’m bringing James with me next time. He’d like it.”
“But why do they sing?”
Six young ladies walk back across 5 lanes of busy traffic to a cold apartment. The glass doors of the church close behind them and the white faces are pressed to the glass, stunned.