Presbyterian. Methodist. Catholic. Do denominations matter?

c. 2013
Reprinted with permission

Before I knew it, I was in their car, propped in the passenger seat while he drove and she sat silently in the back.  The heat from our bodies filled the car as a stench from somewhere inside us leaked from our pores.  Sweat seeped through my worn t-shirt as I guzzled another gulp from my water jug. 

“Want some?” I asked, glancing behind me and noticing perspiration pouring from my teammate’s brow.

“Yes please!”  It was as if she’d been in the desert eating sand for the past month.

I passed the water back as her dad drove out of the gym parking lot and towards my house. Somewhere along the way, our small talk transformed into a discussion of faith.

“What denomination are you, Kelsey?” the driver asked in his cordial, fatherly voice. My ears had heard sermons a handful of times in my 13 years of life, and those only happened during vacationed family reunions when everybody else went. Even then, it was uncomfortable for me to speak the name “Jesus,” even though I’d heard of him before and bought into the stories.

A crucifix.