i grew up going to the biggest Korean church in Northern Virginia. the congregation was made up of a few thousand Korean immigrants, including my parents.
like most Korean immigrants, they were blue collar workers. my dad was a dry cleaner and my mother worked at a deli. we lived in a 2 bedroom apartment where me and my sister shared a room, but not toys.
we never missed a Sunday until the Blizzard of ‘96 hit and that one time my sister got pneumonia; we spent that Sunday in a hospital instead. otherwise, it was youth group service, which consisted mostly of hand motions and trying to sit still for the 15 minute sermon. i don’t remember any of the sermons except this one illustration.
the leader was this bubbly woman, who never seemed to be out of pep. she put her hands together and interlocked her fingers as if she were praying. she stuck both her index fingers up against each other and rested both her thumbs against her index fingers. the index fingers were the steeple and the thumbs were doors, you see. she wiggled them for effect. she opened up the doors and spread her palms apart.
there was no one inside.
she then interlocked her fingers so that her fingers were inside between her palms, the top of her fingers zig zagging in front of her knuckles like a zipper. she put her steeple up and her doors in place. when she opened up the doors, there were people inside now. wiggling and alive.
that was a real church.