I have a few friends that are quite religious. I like them just fine even if we don’t see eye to eye on these things. I’ve never really been a religious person, although I’ve tried. It’s just something that just never quite fit on me. There are bits and pieces of religion that I can accept and some things that I fully reject. In the end, it really just came down to me being unable to fully give myself to a belief system. It would be a complete lie to call myself anything, I realized. So, I just stayed out of it.
My friends, however, have found their home. I completely appreciate that they love to share this with me. When I got invited to a tea party to celebrate some graduates of a Christian women’s group, Pearls Set Apart, I definitely decided to go. While I only knew about 4 people at the party, I was warmly welcomed by everyone. I never felt like a stranger that just stood around hoping someone would talk to me. I felt right at home. I showed up and dove right in, taking photos, chatting with everyone, and even helping prepare other people’s food.
The was just so much cute at the party, I couldn’t even figure out where to begin. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I would feel being in a Christian event. It’s not as if I’ve never been to one before; religion has been so huge in my family, but not for me. I think I always feel like I’m gonna get pressured into a conversation I’d rather not have by attending a get together.
It wasn’t anything like that at all, it turns out. I had a great time, except for the hot San Fernando Valley summer weather. Thankfully, we also had those water spritzers hanging from some of the umbrellas to cool us down. We all looked cute, dammit, but that heat was wearing us all down. The tea party became an iced tea party, and we were all the happier for it. The food was so good. I couldn’t stop having the tea sandwiches and I honestly am surprised at how little macarons I ate.
The girls even got up to do some testimonials, to speak about how religion has helped them in life. I did take some videos, but opted to cut a lot of the dialogue out because the stories were very personal. Although not damning, it was shared in a private space where these women were surrounded by friends. I felt that it was something that should be saved for the people they testified to face-to-face, in the safe place of that small gathering. I left some snippets to give a feel for the direction of how these women grew into their own.
Anyway, the video is down below. I would definitely love a tea party at my place. Alice in Wonderland themed…