I live directly across the street from a 7th Day Adventist church. I used to have a 7th Day Adventist roommate when I lived in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and attended URI. I never knew exactly what 7th Day Adventist meant, but here I’m getting a better idea. I think it means, and this is by no means a dictionary definition but rather one built from inference about their routines and rituals: “Those who rest on the 7th Day but pretty much party hard, in the religious sense, all the others.” And if that’s an accurate definition, then these folks are a faithful bunch. There are parties every night, singing and speeches, everyone’s always dressed up and carrying flowers, sitting around, running around, everyone dressed to the nines all the time.
Or at least that’s how it looks to me, from 10 floors up, not being able to hear or understand what they’re saying. All I know is that it’s 9:23 on a Wednesday night and there they are, church all lit up, people walking in and out as if the church doors were in fact doors into a Wal-Mart. A fancy Wal-Mart. It’s that busy. What’s nice about it is that it always feels like there’s energy on my street. It’s comforting and it feels safe here. Like, if there are all these people in the Sunday best, even if it’s a Tuesday night or a Thursday afternoon, nothing bad can happen. The whole safety in numbers thing, right here at my doorstep. Except it’s even safer because God’s mixed in with the group. And really, who’s going to do something bad directly in front of God? (Or at least in front of one of his homes?) Even though I don’t count myself one of the faithful of this group or of any other, really, I do find it comforting and pleasant to have the church right there. I like looking through the glass ceiling and seeing the glow of lights below, and I like the bustle of people on the street. It’s not annoying or frustrating in the least. You’d think if you heard singing and hanging out all night you might get tired of it. But it’s like free live music. I can’t understand the lyrics, and sometimes the accoustics are all off, but I’m not complaining.