Saturday, September 28, 2013

Shunning

One of the sad realities for me of living in this tiny town is that I'm always running into people I really have no desire to interact with. Example? Tonight at a local barbeque fund raiser I ran into someone I knew from my old church Possum Creek.

The lady was someone I'm going to call Cindy. I knew Cindy only slightly at church, she joined and quickly left within the year, not really fitting in. She'd show up at the women's Bible studies and complain about how horrible her husband was. At first the ladies of the Creek would try their best, including I, to persuade Cindy to obey her husband, submit, submit, submit, turn him over to the Lord in prayer and serve him with love. Emotion follows action and God will make your hard marriage glorious. You'll earn crowns in heaven.

Can you believe feisty me used to believe that crap, preach it and try to live it? I might have been choking under it, like a wild horse chafing under a ring bit and a big old prickly burr under it's saddle blanket but I still spewed that crap.

But the more we urged Cindy to love and submit to her husband the worst her tales of him got. When they separated Cindy was shunned by the ladies of the church, myself included. Pressure was put on her best friend, a lady we nicknamed Shirley Templeton, to also shun Cindy. Cindy was rebellious, had a wicked deceitful rebellious heart and must be made aware that we could not condone her behavior.  The word of the Lord fell on her heart like wheat mixed with weed seed and the weeds had choked out the good fruit.

Cindy left, Shirley stayed and life moved on. I ran into Cindy a time or two in town and talked to her, finding out she wasn't one bit remorseful of her actions. I heard later she left town.

When she showed up at this dinner tonight I have to admit I froze like a deer in the headlights. The expression on my face probably telegraphed to her my unhappiness over seeing her again. I've come to realize after my own experiences being shunned by the old church that I'd had no right to judge and shun her. My unhappiness was at being reminded of my old actions. I am ashamed and disgusted with myself that I ever could have acted like that to someone that needed support and friends at a critical time in her life.

I made an effort to be kind to Cindy, listen to her updates on her children and how her life has been going. It looks like her life has been hard, she's aged considerably, the kind of aging that happens when the world hasn't been easy on you.

Turns out she's going to attending our church, the same contemporary service I'm on the worship team. I think I shall try to step carefully this time and try not to do anything that could impede her own spiritual journey.

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