by Lucian Thompson
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Sunday morning and you go to church and worship with like believers, and then you go out for lunch at some buffet with your friends. Nice, huh?
UNLESS…you go to early service or your church has it’s worship service at 10:00 AM like mine does. What difference does that make, you ask? Well. I’m so glad you asked!
Case in point…today after my church finished our morning service at approximately 11:15 AM, my wife and I went out for a nice lunch at the Golden Corral. We were just finishing up when a nice looking, well dressed, group of about eight church going folks came in at about 12:35 PM.
I was just coming back from my third trip to the serving counter, with dessert in hand, when I overheard a couple of these sweet ladies whispering to each other about me. Seems they were concerned why so many folks were out and about their own business on Sunday mornings and not in church. Looking right at me with “THAT SMILE”, you know “THAT SMILE” I am talking about, as they carried on loud enough for me to be sure and hear.
Right away, I discerned that they were Baptist! Why, how dare they assume that I haven’t been in church today? Ooops…looking down at myself may have given me a clue why they come to that conclusion.
I am the co-pastor of a non-denominational contemporary church and we dress casual. Jeans and a polo shirt are pretty casual, I guess, and that is what I had on. Well, if you expect your flock to be able to come casual, you have to dress the part yourself lest they feel you weren’t real, right.
Now, it is a known fact that non-denominational churches let out before the Baptist. Most Baptist are older folks and like to saunter around a bit and are in no hurry to get up in the mornings, everyone knows that. Now, they like to dress to the nines! That’s okay, too!
So, why does it bother me that these ladies of high standing, (noses turned up), would assume that I was a reprobate? Hum…wish you hadn’t ask that! Anyway…
I guess it’s that I don’t like the whole, ‘I’m better than you concept, or the, you aught to be ashamed of yourself,’ assumption; in other words, the prejudging at which we Christians are so good.
Wouldn’t it have been better for these sweet ladies to smile, not THAT SMILE, and greet me with a pleasant, good morning sir, I am Gladys and this is Murgatroyd, we attend Second Baptist and we would love to invite you to come and worship with us next Sunday?
After all, if I looked lost, shouldn’t a Christian try to show me the way? We Christians need to sweeten up and lighten up! The eyes of love can lure a soul whereas the smirk of disdain can turn away, till another day, a divine appointment.
Hey, if you are Gladya and Murgatroyd, I love you anyway!
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Oh yes, that lurking smile of pride - hiding just below the surface - that beast we all do battle with at times. How lovely when His Spirit smiles through us - and the light of His love shines in acceptance. Keep smiling!(hugs)
The sad thing is there is church services being held now on Saturday nights for non-denominational, interdenominational, Presbyerians and Baptists etc.. so they better be careful about judging others lest they be judged themselves.
Great points Lucien. I'm a non-denominationaler, too. Though I just found a Church of God that I love only blocks from the house. I know what you mean about "that smile", the condescending "Christian" smile - the "fake" smile.
Very funny article! It struck a chord with me...not so much the 'where', but I sure know "THAT" smile! Should bring us all up short when we're about to make an assumption about others! Great story!
Wow! How true! I live in a very conservative community & know "the smile" very well! I also go to a contemporary church - usually on Saturday night so I'm not in church at all on Sunday morning! Gasp! Your humor is great! I loved it! And excellent job at driving home your point! Blessings, Lynda
Lucian- thanks for reminding us that things are not always as they seem! I too have received "the look" many times in my life (maybe its the many colors changes of my hair?? haha) Sadly, many of us are probably equally guilty of passing on that same look on others at one point or another. Thanks you for shedding light the subject it will definitely make me want to re-think my actions in the future! As always it was another great article! God Bless- Jen