Three months ago, my family and I were sitting in church. About 45 mins into the service, what appeared to be a white man dressed in a suit, walked into the sanctuary, down the side aisle and sat right in the front row. Immediately, images of this and this flashed in my mind. I felt my life, and my family member’s lives, were in danger. At the same time, I thought ‘calm down Ayo’, ‘chill Ayo’, ‘it’s just a person coming to worship’.
One minute later, I turned to my wife and said it’s time to go. She looked at me, saw the seriousness of my face and heard my quiet firm voice, grabbed her stuff, motioned to my 8 year old daughter and we walked out of the church. On the way out of the sanctuary, I passed my church’s Head of Security. He and his team already had their eyes the new visitor and appeared to be positioning security to engage if anything were to happen.
In passing, I paused to share my feelings and he said he completely understood. Then my family and I walked out of the building, got in the car and went grocery shopping at the local supermarket.
My family and I returned to our church the following week and continue to do so to this day.