The Death Of Compassion

, , , | Working | July 10, 2019

(I’m a youth director at a church in a fairly small town and we’re having our weekly staff meeting. Since we’re transitioning between associate pastors at the moment, staff meetings consist of me, the senior pastor, and the secretary. My grandfather recently passed away and we’re discussing his funeral.)

Me: “The service is on Thursday in the city.”

Pastor: “What time?”

Me: “It’s at 11:00, and the visitation is before that.”

Pastor: “So, after the service, you think you’ll come in after that?”

Me: *stunned silence*

Secretary: “No, you should spend time with your family.”

(I was a little surprised to see the secretary show more compassion than the pastor. Not surprisingly, I didn’t stay there much longer.)

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Origin Of The Phrase, “Oh, Brother”

, , , , | Related | June 30, 2019

I have been going to the same fairly conservative Christian Reformed church since birth. This happened soon after my first brother was born. He was an extremely fussy baby, less than a year old at this time, and cried constantly.

My brother was fussing in the car as my family — my mother, my father, and two-year-old me — was driving to church. My brother refused to calm down and my father got fed up and yelled, “D*** IT, [BROTHER]!”

He stopped crying instantly, shocked by the loud noise.

But, being the constantly fussy baby that he was, he started up again and was back in full tantrum mode by the time we pulled into a parking space in the church parking lot. I had never been a fan of my little brother and was even less enamored with his constant crying. So, I decided to make a solution.

I yelled, “D*** IT, [BROTHER]!”

Keep in mind that I was two years old, yelling this for the entire church parking lot to hear on Sunday morning. My parents were mortified!

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Glad You Got That Off Your Chest

, , , , , | Friendly | May 22, 2019

(I’m at a church for a school band concert. This occurs in the bathroom as I’m washing my hands.)

Pre-Teen Girl: “Grandma, there’s a boy in the girl’s bathroom.”

(I’m dressed quite masculine for the event, in an all-black button-down and bow tie, but my face and other key areas are prominently feminine. However, this happens quite often, so I’m not surprised.)

Grandma: *loudly* “THAT’S NOT A BOY! IT HAS TITS!”

(I almost hit my head, I laughed so hard. Finally, someone has figured it out.)

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Mothers Are Mothers, Too

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | May 12, 2019

I’ve never enjoyed going to church. I could barely keep myself awake during the services because I found the whole thing boring. I still see myself as Christian; I just don’t like going to mass. Every Sunday, my little brother and I would try our best to sleep in — or pretend to sleep in — until our parents just gave up and left without us. I celebrated when I finally got my Confirmation and they couldn’t force me to go anymore. I still went for Midnight Mass because it was a Christmas tradition, but never at any other point.

One Saturday, though, my dad pulled me aside and asked if I could go to church with mom the next day. He was doing the reading and he didn’t want to leave her alone. I didn’t really get it, but I figured that since that Sunday was Mother’s Day, I’d throw her a bone. Sure, I’d already gotten her a present, but he seemed pretty insistent.

So I went. Mom was pretty surprised, but she wasn’t complaining. I was doing my best to try and not look like I was on the verge of passing out, as usual, when about halfway through the service, I finally got a good look at my mom.

She looked like she was trying — and failing — not to cry.

That was when it hit me; this was her first Mother’s Day after her mother, my grandmama, had passed away from lung cancer. We weren’t that close, but I couldn’t even imagine what Mom had been going through all day. Immediately feeling horrible for silently treating this like a burden, I snuck in a hug and made sure she knew how much I loved her and appreciated everything she did for me. She hugged me back and finally let herself straight-up cry.

I couldn’t even begin to imagine my life without her, even now as I’m living on my own. She doesn’t have to imagine life without her mother; she’s living it.

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Unfiltered Story #145446

, , | Unfiltered | March 26, 2019

Me: (Name of Church), how may I help you?

Caller: I have an interesting question for you.

Me: Okay.

(I think nothing of this as people often preface their normal questions as interesting)

Caller: Well I was raised in the church, but now I don’t believe in God and I’d like to be excommunicated.

Me: (taken aback) Oh, well, I’m not sure if there is a process to be excommunicated, but let me put you on hold for a moment to let me ask someone else about this.

Caller: Thank you.

(I ask the pastor, and he says that there isn’t a form to fill out or anything. I take this information back to the caller)

Me: Thank you for holding, I spoke with the pastor and there isn’t really a way to formally be excommunicated.

Caller: Well I looked on the internet and it says I can get a letter from the bishop.

Me: Well, I can give you the number to the bishop’s office if you would like to call. It is ***-***-****.

Caller: Thank you.

Coworker who overheard call: You should have just told him that his decision to not believe in God is enough because God will know your choice. But I don’t think he would have accepted that.

(I always wondered what the bishop’s office told him.)