When Steven entered the picture, we became full-on Christians, of course. We joined one of those megachurches near our home. I liked it at first. I liked the singing and worship. I liked how the pastor told us how much Jesus loved us, that he died on the cross for us, and that he would forgive us for our sins.
I made friends there. That’s where I met Armando, who was the son of the pastor who did the Spanish-language services.
And when Steven spoke, it was almost like God himself was speaking. I thought Steven was the coolest, most perfect Christian I had ever seen. Well, outside of the whole “You shall not commit adultery” thing.
But the more I knew Steven and other Christians, the less I liked church.
After service, we would go out on the patio to have snacks and hang out. It was called fellowship, but there was nothing fellowship-like about it. Mom would gather with her friends and gossip. Steven and his friends were even worse. There was a pastor at another church whose son died by suicide. Instead of caring about him and his family and praying for them like a Christian should, they’d talk shit about what a big phony and a lousy father this pastor was.
I guess that’s what Jesus meant by hypocrites and Pharisees. And after listening to Steven and his friends diss that poor pastor who was grieving for his son, I was so done with church.
But in a way, I still missed church. It was the only thing outside of getting high that silenced the hateful voices in my head.
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