What I don't understand is how the Church can be so unfriendly. So I sit next to you or behind you in the building. But you just sort of nod your head when you see me or you just scowl at me. Same difference. You don't want to talk to ME, the new person. In fact, it is not even so much as intimidation, which is more admirable. It is INDIFFERENCE. NO INTEREST:
I pretty much don't care about you, I have no clue what you do, I have no clue where you have been, and I don't want to know. Sure, we worship the same God, but you know, I am just glad He cares about you because I certainly don't worry about it. To me, you don't exist. You are just a warm body that sits in the seat behind me and because you make contact with my eyes I must nod at you slightly because you are in fact, a human. I even wave at my neighbor when they drive by. That's sort of the same thing.
Now I know what some of you may think. Why the heck do I not put myself forward? I don't know. Maybe it is some sick fascination with the whole lot of it. I want to see if anyone eventually will ignore the sign on my forehead that says don't talk to me, I am not worth it. I have actually thought about putting the sign on my forehead for fun. It would be perfect. I would walk into the building and there I would be, the sign on my head shining in the glow of the multi-purpose Christian bookstore-smelling room. I wonder what people would do. I have the guts to do it but my Minnesota born husband would be too polite to allow it.
One of the ladies at church asked me if I ever went to the Sunday School (she is actually in a small group with me, so she talks to me--she is one of the only people who does). She mentioned that the Sunday School teacher is so gifted, I would really love it. She described the man and seemed shocked that I could not place his face, or even know who he was.
"He sits in the back," she said to further my knowledge.
"Oh, in the back of the whole building---over by the soundboard and all that---" I said, thinking of the blur of people that sit there and how weird it always seemed to me. "Well, I can't place him really," I continued, "In fact, I have never heard of him probably because no one talks to us."
She slightly jerked back, a little surprised at what I had said, but pulled it in just quickly enough so that I questioned my own thoughts on this. Maybe she wasn't surprised.
"Oh," she said.
I don't know what the mature thing would be to do in this situation. Maybe ignore it or approach everyone and say, "Hello, I have been going here for four months or more now and I have never gotten to know you." You know, blame it on myself.
But that is easy for a person like me to do. Blame it on myself. I cut my teeth on horrendous emotions like that. I am sick of blaming things on myself all the time. For awhile it seems ok to do, but then again, it is unhealthy. Just as unhealthy as having no interest in people who seem like they must be nice, and hey, they are going to heaven where I am going and maybe I will get to know them there. How comforting.
We went to a Christmas Party on Sunday to get to know people as a sort of last effort before we decide to do something drastic (like use signs) or perhaps just resort into our own selves. We sat at a table. No one sat next to us except the pastor and his wife who probably discovered that no one would sit next to us.
When I went to the bathroom half-way through the thing I prayed to myself for something to happen where we would feel welcome. I am going to sound very charismatic right now but who cares at this point, I am not a looney tune, I just heard this or at least the thought, independent from myself: "Just enjoy your husband."
I encourage you all who feel lonely in a church full of people to enjoy your spouse especially in those things because by golly, that may be the only fellowship you ever get. Amen and amen.