Day 30

Not exactly in my Sunday best

January 29th, 2012

Walking through the South Bronx on a Sunday morning, you're bound to hear the sounds of worship emanating from the sanctuaries of numerous storefront churches. I like that these private experiences have a way of leaking into public, giving you just a little hint of what's going on inside as you continue on your way. Today, however, I was stopped in my tracks by the gospel music issuing forth from a small Baptist church. A couple of people were chanting, but it was mainly the keyboardist and drummer that drew me in. Their playing was really expressive and powerful, and I just stood outside and listened.

Maybe a minute later, a woman and her young son came around the corner, heading into the church. "Why don't you come inside?" she asked. I was hesitant to intrude, but her face and voice were so kind and warm that I couldn't say no. So I sat through the rest of the service with her and her son, taking in the music, the preaching, the dancing — one woman even started speaking in tongues in the middle of the sermon. I was very obviously out of place there, but the pastor and many of the congregants went out of their way to make me feel welcome.

And that amazing drummer I mentioned earlier? Turns out it was the thirteen-year-old gentleman you see standing in the photo above.


  1. Karen Too says:

    Wonderful all around. Reminds me of similar times I have had in NYC, and when living in The South.

    Matt, very glad to hear you went inside to have this experience. :-)

  2. Brittany O. says:

    I love your travels but mainly the people you share with us along the way.

    • Gigi says:

      Great you had this experience Matt, I guess it was a little bit different from the one you got in the barn during a thunderstorm in your walk across the country.

      And yes, I definitely agree with Brittany.

  3. Joisy jeff says:

    Hay Matt…One for Jesus. Great story. been there done that too….Brittany is o-so right (pardon the pun) the best stories are the strories about the people you meet.

  4. I agree with Brittany too!

  5. Peacefulbird says:

    Good music
    Good drumming
    Friendly folks
    Good you went in
    What more
    could a guy want
    on a morning walk

  6. nadine bourgault says:

    When you go out of your way to experience the experience, it makes the ones providing the experience feel special, and that what they are doing is well worth all the work they have put into it.
    Just goes to show people want to share their goodness.

  7. Dorinda from Mentor, Oh. says:

    Music is so universal. And the people you’ve met along the way because of the music you’ve heard. Awesome. Awesome experiences. Great people.

  8. Michael from Atlanta says:

    Garsh, Matt, I like it when you make me cry.

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