Thursday, September 23, 2004

How I Learned About God
by Jessica Delfino

When I was in third grade, there was a girl named Mei-Ning. She was the smart asian chick in the class, with long, cornsilk black hair but oddly, big, puffy lips. She played the piano, and was athetic and pretty. Somehow, we became friends. It was fun being friends with Mei, because she had a big house with a huge yard, and lots of siblings so her house was always very fun and full of life. One day, Mei asked me if I wanted to go to church with her and her family. I didn't really know what church was, but I said, "OK" because it sounded wierd. I began going to church with her family regularly every Sunday. They would pick me up at 9 am on Sunday morning in the mini-van full of sparkling clean asian-german kids, the asian mom in the front seat, the german dad driving. Sometimes Mei and I would hang out in the kids part of church, playing with clay while singing God songs, other times we would sit in the pews and listen to the sermon. Afterwards, Mei's dad would take us all swimming in the big community pool at the YMCA - the only one for miles and miles - in Boothbay, about a 45 minute drive away from Damariscotta.

I remember going with them to church for a while, though it was probably only two weeks or something in real life. But one night, they invited me to special church. It was church that took place in the evening. I think it was a Saturday night. We got there at 8 pm and were treated to a God play, the story of David and Goliath. The play reenacted the famous scene from the bible, and at the pinnacle of the play, before the punchline was delivered, the preacher came out and told everyone in the audience that before we saw the end of the play, we had to make a decision - would we accept Jesus Christ as our lord and savior or not? Mei's dad turned to me and said, "So, Jessica? Are you willing to take Jesus Christ as your personal savior?" It seemed like a no-brainer. "Sure, yeah, of course." I said. Then, we got to see the end of the play where David kicked Goliath's ass or whatever.

Over the course of several weeks of churchery, I began to think about my family and their relation to God. I thought about my sisters and how we fought a lot. I thought about my mother swearing and my father smoking cigarettes and drinking beer. I began to get very scared that my entire family was going to the devil. I'd pray a lot and ask God to forgive my evil, terrible family. I tried to tell my sisters that they better not be mean to me or eachother or else we'd all burn in hell. I begged my mom not to swear to help save her from the fiery pits of satan's living room. I began to steal my father's cigarettes and throw them away, citing that if he kept poisoning his temple that God was going to feed him to demons. My mom eventually came to me and said that if I didn't cool it with the God talk that she was going to keep me from going to church with Mei anymore.

I can't remember what happened next - I think at that point I was nearing sixth grade and my period began to distract me from hanging out with God anymore. Mei and I eventually stopped hanging out, maybe it was because I told God to beat it. Mei always kept her first place in everything way about her all through out the rest of grammar and high school, and graduated valedictorian. I am handing out flyers on the street in front of Dr. Rosenthal's office. Maybe I should have kept in touch with God? Or at least his son, Jesus. But that's the way things have always been for me. I always route for the loser, who, I guess in this case, would be Satan. I guess I like bad boys or whatever.

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