If I could have snuck out the door and left unnoticed, believe me I would have! But it was too late.

For years I have driven by an attractive church near my home. As the daughter of a Methodist minister, this Methodist church intrigued me. But I already had a church home. 

Finally, the Sunday came I could “play hooky” from my own church and visit the one down the road. A little excited, a little nervous, I spent a little too long getting ready.

Only a few minutes late, I’ll just slip in the back row, I thought.

But I was very wrong. 

I had the incorrect time for the service and was actually forty-five minutes late! There was no slipping in the back row, the church was full. No sneaking away, I was seen by many.

What a sight I must have been for the choir! They sat up front and could easily see me…a flustered, wind blown, white woman trying to sneak unnoticed into an African-American congregation at the conclusion of the service.

Much as I wanted to fade into the woodwork, it wasn’t going to happen.

But a wonderful thing did happen, I was warmly welcomed. Folks shook my hand.

Others smiled and said, “You come back again.” And I have, again and again.

I love visiting this church where Sundays are celebrated with heartfelt thankfulness for God’s grace. I enjoy the rich traditions in the service, and the engaging interaction between the preacher and congregation during a sermon.

And the music is wonderful! People smile when they sing, they clap and sway. I do too. I don’t always get it right, but I love trying.

Rev. James Smith,
my father’s best friend

As I work to finish my novel “Mr. Nobody Smith” based on the life of Rev. Dr. James “Smitty” Smith, I am so grateful for all the ways his story has changed me.

This book has been my focus for years. Like running at the end of a marathon, I’m more than a bit weary.

But thanks to “my other church” down the road and the encouragement of their fellowship, I’m going to make it.

I only wish I had visited them years ago.