2/23/11 Lacy, about 23
I was at McDonalds where a young African-American woman named Lacy was studying her college textbook over fast food. She agreed to answer my questions and told me about her Pentecostal upbringing. "My mom is all into church, speaking in tongues and all that, but I can't relate. It's boring to me" She believes in God, believes she is saved, but explained that she feels like she's heard it all, that she doesn't feel she would learn anything new by attending church anymore. Lacy became a mother at a young age, and now takes care of her 8 year old daughter at her own apartment along with her younger brother. She had her second child 3 years ago, but he died (I'm not sure how) and she went through a period of mourning and anger at God. Now she works, takes college classes toward becoming a nurse, and is unexpectedly pregnant again by a "good friend". "How can you be sure you will go to heaven?" I asked eventually. "I'm not" she told me. Her eyes filled with tears as she told me how she considered aborting this latest pregnancy but feared she would go to hell for killing her child. I tried to encourage her, telling her she had made the right decision, but I also knew that despite claiming faith in Christ for salvation her trust was really in her own good works, a trust that would come and go depending on how good she perceived herself at different times. After a phone call she said she had to get going soon so I knew I didn't have much time to talk and would need to sum things up rather quickly. I warned her about the fact that, despite the emphasis on faith, too many churched people still rely on their good works - their church involvement, for example, rather than the cross of Jesus. I ended by encouraging her as a young mom and praying for blessing on her life.