I’m sitting across the street from where Jully’s church is. I’m very nervous. It’s the first time she will see me with my hair cut low. One look at me and she will know that I have black in me. Up to now she still thinks that I’m Asian and now she’s going to find out that I’m bi-racial. What will her reaction be? Will she still be attracted to me? I hope will all my heart that she will be.
It’s ten minutes to eleven. I had better head over there now. Heart pounding, I get up and cross the street at the intersection. People are flocking into the church. I follow them. There are greeters there who welcome everyone and hand them programs. An usher shows me to a seat in the middle of the second to last row. I sit down between two couples who smile at me and bid me good morning.
It’s a nice church, not as big as the one where the wedding took place. It’s much smaller but warm and cozy. I can feel God’s presence here. There are flowers and a cross hanging on the wall. The members are predominantly African-American. I feel at home. Everyone is very friendly. I look around for Jully, wondering when I will see her. I don’t have to wait long.
The organ prelude starts off the worship. After the Words of Welcome and Opening Hymn, Jully does the Responsive Psalm. My heart is pounding and my eyes are fixed on her. She looks amazing in the black top and multi-colored skirt.
The sermon is about the example of Christ. His humility even though He was the Son of God, His love for us, His obedience to His Father and His forgiveness. The preacher said that Christians are to be like Jesus who is their perfect example of what a child of God is supposed to be like. It’s a very powerful sermon and it got me thinking.
After the sermon, there’s the closing hymn and then a prayer. After the preacher, Jully and the participants who were on the podium leave the sanctuary, the ushers come to each row. When it’s my row’s turn, I leave and I pause to thank the preacher and tell him how much I enjoyed his sermon. He beamed and after thanking me, invited me to come again the following week.
My eyes shift to Jully who is staring at me. I guess she’s staring because I look so different. She comes over to me. “It’s great to see you, Aaron. Thanks for coming.”
“Thanks for inviting me.” I long to take her in my arms and hug her before kissing her but we’re in a church. Any public display of affection would seem blasphemous, somehow. “I’ll wait outside for you.”
“All right. I’ll be there shortly.”
I’m standing at the side of the front entrance and at the bottom of the steps, watching the people as they file out when she joins me. “Let’s go to the back where there aren’t too many people,” she suggests.
I nod and follow her. We find a quiet spot and she leans against the building, watching me. How I ache to hold her in my arms. “I look very different, don’t I?”
“Yes, you do.”
“I decided to go and get a hair-cut yesterday.”
“Up until now, you thought that I was Asian, but today, I wanted you to see that I have black in me too, even though I was terrified that it could change the way you feel about me.”
“Oh, Aaron. It doesn’t make any difference to me that you’re Blasian. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m crazy about you.”
I’m so relieved to hear her say that but I want to be completely honest with her. I tell her the ugly truth about how I denied my African-American side and passed as Asian. “I’m so ashamed of myself, especially when I think about how much it would have hurt my mother whom I loved very much.”
“Baby, you’re not the first person to deny who they are and you won’t be the last. The important thing is that you feel cut up about it and won’t do it anymore. Now, you will embrace both sides of you and be proud. I don’t want you to deny your Asian side because of your mother or me. Be both because you are both–you’re Blasian.”
“So, you don’t have a problem dating me even though I’m bi-racial?”
“No, I don’t. Now, let’s go to my place and have some cheesy baked stuffed cod. I made them this morning.”
Smiling, I lead the way to the parking lot where my car is.
Sources: Sermon Central; First Baptist Church of Boston; She Knows