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Day 27 The Sabbath

Sunday - a day to pray.  I will go and join my small congregation that welcomes all in the spirit of non-denomination, sexual preferences and the like.  There will be more trays of food heaped up in the great room then there will be attendees.  My kind of place! We will pray, meditate, Sing and be grateful for all God has bestowed upon us. In all it will be a time to honor ourselves and others and find the light and joy that resides in all of us.  His service will be quite different....

In contrast, he will likely attend and sing at the Sunday service at Club Fed.  An excerpt from his Gray Planet Chronicles detailing his first day at church follows:

 I get my first gig on this planet through "Boston Brad."  I am singing in the choir for the Sunday service. At first, I was looked at with suspicion by Rev. Bird who is a devout black minister with eyes that follow your every emotion and question, " Have you got Christ in your heart?"  He looked me over, his Gray sculpted beard with glasses perched at the tip of his nose and eyes looking up and over with furled brows because he didn’t want to raise his head, only his gaze because he was contemplating Christ’s light on the fan wall that barely reflected the rays of the sun.  "Everyone has Christ in their souls" I offered naively.  That raised his approval and got me a  hummph... "Well that ain’t necessarily so," he said. " The Devils in some folk and I don’t want nothing to do with the devil."

Rather try then intercede I said," I had accepted Christ and would like to sing with them." With an uncertain and dubious look Rev. Bird said, "We will see - the heart will tell it all."  Here it was 11:45 and the chaplain came up to gather  us up on the fifth floor, to take us to the chapel on the third floor.  To get out, you have to go through padlocked 2 inch thick Steel and glass door which has a glass wall next to it and a  wide gray steel top bottom and middle. Then you have to go down the Gray Hall that connects (our side) with the East side; go through another gray steel glass cage door into the elevator area which has 4 steel elevators that look like they belong in an industrial slaughter house. The floor looks like something you would hose down after some messy animal leaves its entrails on the steel floor. The floor has these diamonds one inch patterned raised grooves could almost be fleur de lis but really are flowers of evil intent because they look like they could have been flesh eaters. 

We trudge in to the chapel ,Boston Brad, Red Bird, Trevor, and another late 40s black dude. At the last minute a black guard with a gray metal and plastic heavy cart comes in with two bags of melting ice. He says, " brutal they have no fans or air conditioning on the fourth floor."  He is right. It is about 85̊ and not a ripple of air anywhere... the air itself is gray... dead gray. We proceed to the chapel which is a gray linoleum floored 30 x 30 room with the PML and the far right corner an electric piano.  In the center right is  a single three-foot fan. The blue chairs with arms and gray  plastic chairs are stacked against the left wall and there are the obligatory one foot-wide floor-to-ceiling jailhouse windows that have 3 inch thick glass separating the unholy congregation from the outside We saunter in, unstacked some of the blue chairs grab the hymnals and then the cockfights began... it seems that Rev. Bird and Duke  sort of lock horns over the program. He believes that he is the pre-Madonna by the Rev. His older more puissant and knows what he wants... and by God’s Spirit... he’s going to get it.

We start off with, Go Tell it on the Mountain. I have never sung it so I’m humming along and then I start improvising and punching it up and that gets the Rev.’s ears pricked. He likes it so... I got the spirit of the Lord in me... well... why don’t I start with the first verse... those days with John Massey at St. Mary’s in with Rev. Harris sure came in handy. But you guessed it, Dukes nose is out of joint... he’s been one upped, so he tells me... "You don’t have to strain yourself..." I’m thinking I’m not straining the keys to low for me so I’ll just sing the third harmony well the Rev. Loves that. Go figure. So we are all smiles.  Boston Brad then inquires about the next song in our repertoire.  That starts another cock fight.   Finally, it is settled and we sing Coming Home . While I spice it up with another one of my hallelujah - Aretha thing and it’s a dazzler! And so we go to the last song in which it says that the Lord shall take your burden and then  we are done. Smiles for all and we in the in gratitude and all hold hands as a  young church helper another cadre  profusely thanks the Lord for the new additions. We all clasp our hands and then individually shake for good measure the Rev. Is all smiles now... I got the Lord a my soul and he knows it... he really knows it.

This post first appeared on 1000 Days, please read the originial post: here

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Day 27 The Sabbath


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