Why was he killed? Why isthere all that blood coming out of his hands and head? What’s a sin?
In a guide book for Central America, I hadread about a small town in Costa Rica named Orocio which had this 1800’schurch. As world travelers, I felt it was a natural part of their curriculum tolearn about world religions. But, Orocio was way out of our route to NorthernPanama, so we dropped it.
Our intention was to just drive through SanRamon. Through the hammering rain, I could see the church. It’s a massive,beautiful structure called me. I felt so drawn to that huge building. The doorswere open, and God knows why, but I knew, we had to enter. “Kobi, Kobi, achurch. It’s open. Let’s go.” His reply was silent and direct; he just parkedoff the curb. I like him that way.
So, our family runs in the rain into thewhite-washed building. The church is huge with a white and gold massive alter,hand-carved ornate columns, and little side-cloves with real-size Jesusdisplays and benches. My kids have never been in a church. This is prettyspecial. We’re explaining the significance of the decorative crosses on thestain glass windows; we’re teaching them why there are these [quite graphic]life-size models of a man with blood gushing out of his skull and hands andlegs. As Jews, we said what we knew, hoping it was true to the Christian faith.The architecture and ambiance of the church demands respect, so we’re talkingsoftly, shooting pictures without disturbing those collecting in the pews.
More and more come in. They start fillingup the benches. The church bells ring. I naively tell my kids, “Yes, they arecalling the people to prayer.” And then, because we seem to magnetize all sortsof amazing experiences, guess what… we turn to watch them carry in the casket.Oh My God! We’re here in the middle of someone’s funeral. What are we supposedto do?
Well, we did a few things, actually. Westopped shooting pictures. That was first. Next, we moved to the side so as notto disturb the mourners with our endless questions. Then, the kids wanted toknow if they also could go up and say their last goodbyes if in fact it endedup being an open-casket funeral. We felt it inappropriate to hang out longenough to find out.
Feeling quite humbled and honored to havehad this be our first church experience, we quietly walked out of the churchfuneral service and back out into the rain. I can’t wait to see what our next churchexperience will bring us.