Friday, January 8, 2010
What's He Saying? (Jeremy)
Four months into my first year here, a lady that worked at REAME invited me to the church in which her son served as the pastor. On that particular Sunday morning, I arrived late and tried to hide inauspiciously in the back row. It was to no avail, as my friend, with her hawk-like eyes, picked me off and dragged me up to the front. She introduced me to her son, who, minutes later, assumed the pulpit. From my seat on the front row, he introduced me to the congregation. Then, he announced that he would like for me to pray for the church after his sermon. However, with only six months of language experience, the difference between future and present tense was lost on me. So, I hopped out of my seat and made my way to the pulpit at that very moment. Everyone stared up at me with confused looks, while the pastor kindly clarified that he would call me up to pray after his sermon. I slithered back to my seat, wondering if my face was as red as it was hot. Forty minutes later, the fateful moment arrived. I climbed the stairs again, grabbed the microphone, and began. “Father, thank you for your brother Jesus…” I would love to say that it got better from there, but based on the eerie silence of the congregation, it didn’t. I didn’t know what I was saying, and instead of just keeping it short, I just kept going. Out of my mouth came a whirlwind of words that were completely incoherent to both me and the congregation. It was like watching a wounded animal suffer, where you are just waiting for someone to put it out of its misery.
I think last Friday night probably had a similar feel. Carol (my girlfriend), her family and I were gathered around the family dinner table. I got down on one knee and started spewing the same non-sense that I had almost six years ago. I remember saying the word love, God and marry but not much else. The idea of asking her in front of her parents was an attempt to respect something I value in her culture, but I was starting to question the intelligence of that decision. Her brother sat across the table, shifting in his seat, empathizing with my pain. I wanted to stop and start over, but, in situations like these, you don’t have the luxury of a reset button. Sometimes life is poetry, and sometimes it is more like a tragic comedy. Her gracious yes seemed to reign it all in and tag a fitting ending to what was otherwise a wonderful day. So, yes, we are now engaged. Our plan is to get married in late May and to continue living with the guys (with some space of our own of course). I find myself extremely grateful to God for the remarkable woman that he has entrusted to me.