December 25th 1996
Back at the pew. I stand beside Mati, holding her hand. She crooks her finger, whispers in my ear;
In the person of Jesus, God becomes one with us -a Christian platitude? I think I’ve heard it all before. I’m not very religious these days. Rather cynical I guess. In Canada, we often say these words at church. Maybe we even teach them at school. Easy enough -but what does it mean anymore? Content to praise God, pay lip service, we go on with our everyday lives. Business as usual, everybody screwing each other around. At least that's the way it often seems. Queens Park Toronto? Now there’s a place that really cares, is filled with the spirit. Ha! And in Cuba? Does the little baby on the silver star by the altar really matter, even here? Who believes in miracles anymore?
A hushed, excited murmur! I gaze toward the church doors. A line of policemen hands on their hips are standing against the back wall! Watching intently! In Cuba, only the parti organizes and speaks at any large gathering. Billy clubs now in hand, they nervously exchange glances. Suspiciously staring at the padre, the congregation. King Herod's foot soldiers? I nudge Matilde. She casts me a knowing glance, “Si!” anxiously she fingers the rosary around her neck, “Mucho problemas. You’ll see.”