Monday, June 1, 2009

Bailey, NC: Population 670; Apprx. 3 blocks wide (no exaggeration)

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.

-Oh, the Places You'll Go, Some dude named Dr. Seuss

For me, Bailey is the antithesis of this quote, it's arch nemesis, it's Kryptonite, etc, etc...Dr. Seuss: 0; Bailey: 1.

Long story short: I'm a 23 year old, single, black female Baptist, who's pretty much openly and unabashedly afraid of ministry. So naturally, I'm spending my summer in a majority white (is there a stronger word for "majority" I could use here? I think I might have seen two black people by a swing set, but that could have just been my imagination, or the heat), rural, Methodist Church in the middle of North Carolina.

(Hint: This is one of those things I've generally been warned not to do, along with taking candy from strangers and bungee jumping).

So, no, by most sane people standards, I don't have a brain in my head. And, it certainly doesn't feel as if I have any control of my feet. And, I certainly didn't wake up one day, eat a bagel, and think, 'gee, that's how I should spend my summer."

Don't worry, this won't be a love letter to Calvin, I do believe I have a choice in all of this (which actually, in some ways makes it much harder, because daily I have to choose into doing something that seems continually foolish and costly). But, I do believe God has been ordering my steps, and I do believe this is exactly where he wants me this summer.

Now, enough of the drama. Here's the good part.

I'm not alone.

Jesse, my co-intern (slash co-key-wielder, four square partner, trashcan specialist, etc, etc) is better than good company, he's already becoming a friend.

The people of Bailey won't leave me alone (in the best way possible). And, honestly, when I walked into that first country church on Sunday (there are several churches in the area) and was literally flocked by the kindest, most excited, most loving faces I'd ever seen in a church (no,not an exaggeration), I'd never felt more welcome--I told Jesse just as much.

It was startling. Bizarre. Straight out of some wacky, Seussesque book. Don't tell me God's left the Church when a black woman can feel so welcomed and affirmed in a white, rural church in the middle of "nowhere", NC.

I could go on and on (promise I won't make a habit out of long posts, but it's my first so, bygones). But, I'll just say, my first day was surprisingly a blast. A really odd, quirky, is-this-really-happening to me--so, okay, yeah I guess it is--sort of blast. But a blast nonetheless.

Random thoughts / observations:
-Bailey really isn't as small in the grand scheme of things as I thought (although, I did live in Iowa last year, so I could be biased). The town population is really small, but spatially so is the town. It's surrounded by a ton of other towns, and there's plenty of shopping centers, etc nearby. Not so bad.

-It's a peaceful, pretty area.

-I've already been invited to fire a gun and go hunting (oh, wowz, if you knew me and how much I've been going on about this, you'd know how big of a deal this was, lol)

-My pastor gives three different sermons at three different churches in one day, back to back to back. It was one of the most impressive (and exhausting things) things I've witnessed in a while.

-If I decide to live in Bailey instead of commuting (which I think I will), I'll be living in this small house called the Cornerstone. I just think that's cool :)

Okay, that's it for now.

God Bless,
Andrea aka Dre

1 comment:

tathomas said...

this was really funny. where are the rest of your posts?