How Can You Be Comfortable With This Decision?

, , , , | Friendly | February 22, 2020

(My writing group meets in a church that also offers a lot of other programs like AA, trauma support, and just general sanctuary as we have a huge homeless population. I arrive a little early for a writing group one day and there is a homeless man standing on the porch. I pass him and pull on the door.) 

Homeless Man: “It’s not open yet.”

Me: “Oh, okay. I guess I’m a little too early.”

(We stand and chat for a minute, and then my writing group leader shows up, giving the homeless man a huge, cartoonish berth to open the door even though we are practically standing right next to each other. The leader and I go into the meeting room and the homeless man goes into the sanctuary. We have our meeting and everything’s good until the end, when this happens.)

Group Leader: “Okay, that’s our meeting for tonight. Now for some announcements. I know there was a homeless guy earlier in the church. I asked him what he was doing here and he said he was charging his phone, but you guys don’t need to be uncomfortable because I asked him to leave.” 

Me: “Wait, you asked him to leave?!”

Group Leader: “Yes, he was making people uncomfortable sitting in the sanctuary.”

Me: “I spoke to him a bit on the porch. He was fine. Not dangerous or anything. They’re allowed to be in the sanctuary if they’re not causing any harm.”

Group Leader: “Well, he was making people uncomfortable. He’s gone now, so none of you need to be scared walking out.”

(I did leave, and I looked around for the guy hoping he hadn’t gone too far so I could at least apologize to him for her behavior, but I couldn’t find him. I still feel so bad about it; how could someone be so jerky as to oust a homeless guy from a CHURCH?!)

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The Little Drummer Boy

, , , , , | Right | December 20, 2019

(Every year, our church puts on a massive, multi-night Christmas production. It’s a big deal in our small community. I’m volunteering at one of the visitor desks, where I’m directing traffic and answering questions. We’re about three nights into our nine-night run. A lady with a child who looks to be about five or six comes up to me.)

Me: “Welcome! What can I help you with?”

Lady: “Where is the childcare? I need to drop him off.”

Me: “Can I ask how old your child is?”

Lady: “He’s five.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but there is only childcare from birth to age three.”

Lady: “But I was told there’d be childcare. Can’t you just put down that he’s three?”

Me: “Again, I’m sorry, but I’m not allowed to do that. It’s a very interactive family show, so I guarantee he won’t be bored!”

Lady: *huge sigh* “FINE.”

(The child starts to whine about how he doesn’t want to go to the show. I kneel down so I’m at eye level.)

Me: “Hey, the show’s pretty cool! I saw it yesterday. There are lots of lights, Christmas songs, dancers, and drummers!”

Kid: *sniffles* “Drummers?”

Me: “Yep! They come on stage with giant drums! And there are lots of other surprises that you have to watch for!”

Kid:Cool! Mommy, I wanna go!”

Me: “Can I help you with anything else?”

Lady: *glares at me* “NO!”

(She walked off with her kid trailing behind her, talking about seeing the Christmas drummers. I hope he enjoyed it!)

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Continuously On-Guard With Your Job

, , , , | Working | December 4, 2019

(I’m on staff at a church. I have a babyface, but I’m actually closer to thirty than most people think. I’m helping with a youth group event. It hasn’t started yet, so I’m setting up the check-in computer while talking to a couple of students. I’m wearing my staff badge on a lanyard. One member of our security team approaches us.)

Security: “Hey! No students in here for another ten minutes! Outside!”

(The kids scatter. I continue the computer setup process.)

Security: “That means everyone!”

(I look around and seeing, no more students, start logging in to our check-in software.)

Security: “…including you at the computer!”

Me: “Huh?”

Security: “You’re not supposed to be messing with that! Move along, young lady!”

Me: “I work here!”

(I tap my badge.)

Security: “My mistake. Continue with your setup, then.”

(Fast forward one week. I’m setting up the computer for the youth service again when the same security guard walks by.)

Security: “You’re not supposed to be in here yet!”

Me: “I still work here!”

(I pick up my lanyard and wave my staff badge at eye level.)

Security: “Oh. Uh…”

Me: “Same as last week, [Security].”

(He scurried off. I didn’t have any more problems after that.)

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You May Now… Applaud?

, , , , , , , | Related | November 20, 2019

My sister is getting married. As her fiancé was raised Catholic, they’re having a Catholic wedding. Our side of the family is Christian, too, but we’re not familiar with Catholic rites or services, being a variety of other denominations. In addition, most of the friends of the bride and groom aren’t religious and so also aren’t familiar with Catholic practises.

Regardless of our inexperience, everything goes smoothly and my sister and her fiancé exchange vows and rings. The priest then invites my now brother-in-law to kiss his wife.

Awaiting the classic “I now pronounce you husband and wife” line which isn’t actually used, the guests don’t quite realise that this is the big moment and there are a few heartbeats of silence.

“There’s usually a big cheer right about here,” the priest prompts, and we all start clapping.

“We’d better try that again!” the priest jokes, inviting my brother-in-law to kiss his wife again.

This time we raise the roof with claps, cheers, and laughter!

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Finding The Sugary Silver Lining

, , , , , , | Related | November 19, 2019

I was attending a funeral. The elderly mother of a friend had died, and close family members were reading personal messages. A granddaughter, about fifth or sixth grade, declared that it wasn’t so problematic that Grandmother had dementia:

It meant she sometimes forgot whether she had dealt sweets or not and they walked away with two pieces of candy.

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