Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pardon Me . . .

as I wax philosophical ...
I've decided I really have some work to do in the "Christlike" area. (SURPRISE.)
Yesterday I spent some time with some women that I had never spent time with before, and only one of whom I will likely spend time with again, as we are the only two of the group that will be "working" together. These women are presumably in the same stake and/or ward, which is apparently to go through some BIG boundary changes. Now, we all know how this sends us MORMONS into a big fluttering tizzy- - WHAT WARD WILL I BE IN? WHO WILL THE NEW BISHOP BE? OH MY HECK, MY LITTLE WORLD MAY FALL APART WITH ALL THIS ANTICIPATION AND THE UNKNOWN. THERE'S SUFFERING, STARVING, OR DYING PEOPLE OUT THERE? THAT CAN'T POSSIBLY COMPARE WITH WHAT'S GOING ON IN MY WARD/STAKE. (!) Perhaps I exaggerate . . . a little. Anyway, these women I barely know (and am obviously about to judge. Strike one.) then went into a lengthy discussion about those whom they WOULD NOT want to be their bishop. One because he didn't say hello when he jogged by the house in the morning, another because he wasn't married to an angel. And on and on, which then led to talking about others in the ward. All the while, one of these ladies, who was not "active" because of work and maybe other reasons, would occasionally jump in with a comment (to her teenage daughter who was hearing all of this) like "Don't worry. It'll be okay - there's good girls in the other wards if the YW gets broken up." "Don't worry, I'll try to get Sundays off and I'll come with you."
Then, at the end of the conversation (most of which occurred, LOUDLY, at a bank) one of the women turned to this less active mom and said "You guys need to come to church more often so we can see you." :-O
Now, this lengthy epistle is not to make you want to scratch anyone's eyes out. I'm sure in most situations these are LOVELY, KIND women. I simply want to give the background (and there's more! but I will not include it here.) as to why I suddenly realized that I need to be more Christlike. Am I ever like that?! Do I ever make others feel uncomfortable because of my harsh vocalized judgments? WHEN I MAY NOT EVEN KNOW THE STORY BEHIND THE REASON I'M BEING JUDGMENTAL?! Never again, my friends, never again. And think of the poor less active friend - - WHY IN THE WORLD would she want to come more often after all of that? So, I began to think . . . have I ever made someone think "I'll never go to church again" because of any of my actions/words? EEK. How TERRIBLE would that be.
Then, today, as I was bagging my own groceries at Winco (which, by the way, is BRILLIANT. Though, I do feel a lot of pressure when the next person's groceries start down my side and I still have all my produce to bag. :-) a lady behind me began talking to the lady on the other side of the bagging belt. They were obviously of a different faith than mine, as the conversation began with "I just talked to the pastor on the phone this morning!" These ladies then engaged in a conversation that filled my heart with joy. They talked about how the church was handing out "treat" bags today, so the one lady had run down to get a few things for the bags. And how she promised to get the other lady her pictures, but "So-and-so collapsed the day of your mother's memorial, and had to go in for a quintuple bypass, so we've been taking care of his 70 lb. dog, which is why I'm covered in dog hair!"
I interrupted the conversation right there and informed her that she was a SAINT for that one act alone!
This conversation was between three other ladies, with me listening in, as was the conversation yesterday. WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES. Lovely ladies, all of them, but the three I saw/heard today made me want to be a little bett
er. However, I did realize that I might not be willing to help anyone with their 70 lb. dog (strike two) - - which is why I believe I have A LOT of work to do in the "Christlike" department. A LOT.
One conversation made me want to poke my eyes out with a fork - - the other made me want to buy the world a Sprite, and go frolicking through a field of flowers with all mankind and a 70 pound dog.
But, which conversation am I most frequently engaged in?
A lot of work to do, people. A LOT.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Every now and again I have to remind myself that the images I see from other parts of the world are, in fact, real. That some people wake up to nothing. Or, they wake up to what once was something ... but, because of forces outside of their control, is now nothing. That some people wake up far from anything beautiful, lovely, or of good report. That some people don't wake up at all. I forget sometimes that I am only a VERY small dot in a VERY large picture. I sometimes forget that what I do or say really doesn't matter to more than maybe a handful of people.
But MAN!
I'm glad I get to be here.