In Summary

  • Everyone erupts as I shyly clap my hands and turn to Gabriel. From the way his eyes are shut tight and his arms are flapping about above his head, I guess I am on my own.
  • I sit down in my chair, feeling instantly terrified and exposed, like I am a sheep who accidentally wandered into a lion’s den and I don’t know to blend in so that the lions won’t notice that I am not one of them and eat me – well, in this case, kick me out.

“You can sit down here and get a first-class view of the service,” Gabriel tells me, beckoning at a seat that’s about three rows down from the altar, and very, very close to all the action.

“I’m not sure I want to be that close,” I blush. I had no idea I was hanging out with one of the worship leaders of this church, and I had no intention of being front and centre of the action. In fact I didn’t even want to be here; a little white lie is what’s got me in this fix.

“It’ll be fine,” he says. “I’ll come join you once we are done with our bit.”

The church organ strikes a note and the congregation starts to trickle in and take their seats. About 20 minutes later, a group of people, Gabriel included, walk onto the stage. One of them, a young, pretty lady wearing a nice, formal skirt suit, takes the microphone and ‘opens’ the service. “It’s time for us to warm up by praising the Lord!” she says. I look around the church; almost all the seats are full now and everyone is standing up and beaming from ear to ear.

As the band strikes up the first few notes, a large screen that’s been suspended above the stage flickers on and starts to display the lyrics of all the songs the group is singing. I alternate between reading these words and watching the rest of the crowd gyrate to the lively, disco-like music. I even see a few dance moves here and there that I thought would be reserved for the club… but who am I to judge?

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