Wednesday is Tacos and Comics night, you see, because the new issues come out on Wednesdays and the taqueria is just down the block from the comic shop.
For the record, I do not read ‘graphic novels’. I read comic books. I read ones with Spider-Man and Batgirl and Superboy and Wonder Girl and other characters with ridiculous physiques, spandex, and cartoonish artwork.
I also gleefully chat with the guys who work there (who are not at all the stereotypical creepy comic book guys, but very cool) about all things comics, and sometimes about all things Joss Whedon.
Last night was a Whedon night. Whee. Myself and the store owner (yeah, we’re on a first name basis) were chattering happily about Firefly. And a fire truck goes roaring by, sirens full-blast.
Next thing I know, Store Owner was looking at me funny. “I didn’t know you were Catholic,” he says.
Whoops. Crossed myself once, and now my cover was blown. The conversation now was going to be like one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books. “Episcopalian, actually,” I said.
If the Store Owner says, “What’s an Episcopalian?” turn to page 4.
If the Store Owner says, “I used to be Catholic,” turn to page 5.
If the Store Owner says, “I thought Christians weren’t supposed to read comic books,” turn to page 6.
I’m so terribly annoyed when this happens. There I am, bopping along merrily, doing my thing, and someone realises, “Oh my Gawsh, she goes to CHURCH!” and suddenly, their perception of me is changed, and rarely for the better. They judge me based on what they think a Christian should be, and not on how I’ve acted to this point (“She won’t like to read the new Fell comic, it’s got dismembered bodies and Christians hate gratutious violence even if the moral of the story is about redemption in the face of great opposition.”)
Then, late at night, after the tacos are but a greasy memory and the comics have been pored through, I wonder: why didn’t they already know I was a Christian? It’s a major part of my identity, possibly the major part of who I am as a human. A lot of Christians of a certain mindset like to throw around this quote by St. Francis,
Preach the Gospel at all times. When neccessary, use words.
I think, just maybe, I’m not using my words enough.