Sunday, July 09, 2006

Poor, Afflicted Nail Filing Sister

Lookie here, what Brent wrote today:

"You would be so proud... maybe. Today in church the woman behind me started filing her nails (actually quite loudly... it must have been a piece of sandpaper she was using) during the sermon. The man next to her cleared his throat and gave her a glance. Then I cleared my throat and looked back. Another woman did the same. And she kept doing it, although more loudly the more attention she got. Finally, I turned and politely whispered, "Could you please not do that during the sermon?" She shot daggers out of her eyes. After the service I mentioned it to someone sitting nearby, who said, "Oh, but what if she were a visitor?" "I think she was," I replied."Then she might not come back!" "I hope she does," I said, "and has learned to behave herself by then."Perhaps I shouldn't have said something... but at the same time it's so incredibly disrespectful to the preacher and everyone else who's trying to worship. There are things one does in the privacy of one's bathroom, and there are things we do in worship. That's my story and I'm sticking with it."

Brent, PeaceBang IS proud of you. She knows that it's hard to set some boundaries with people who are so soul-sickened by our narcissistic culture that they actually think it's acceptable to perform personal hygiene while in church.
She knows how hard it is to minister to someone with Tough Love, but she believes that, in fact, if we are to build strong churches, we will not build them upon foundations of Wild Permissiveness, but of gracious hospitality and love.

Yes, love is patient, love is kind. Love does not rejoice in wrong-doing. And love, I'm sure St. Paul would agree, also does not sit and tolerate the scritch-scritch-scritch of an emory board while the preacher is trying to give the Good Word and the people are trying to receive it.

That poor, poor lamb who felt her nails merited as much attention as the preacher. Shall we all pray for her?

Let us pray:

Dear Lord,
We have welcomed into our worshiping community today one who has not been blessed by the spirit of Sabbath reverence, and who is plagued with such anxiety about the state of her earthly dwelling place as to commit acts of personal hygiene during the giving of the sermon.

Lord, send a ministering angel to this afflicted woman, and heal her of the demons Vanity and Pride. Help those in her presence to keep a civil tongue and a calm demeanor as they take on the burden of chastisement and admonishment, which is never easy work, Lord.

"Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me."
Nail files, however, do not comfort us.
We rest in this confidence, O Sovereign and Uniting Spirit, as our hearts rest in Thee.

Amen and Amen.


Blogger Jess said...

That would have been Brett, right?

(my husband gave the service in question. . .)

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

PB, while reading your blog just now I laughed and splashed a bit of chocolate syrup on my T-shirt. (I'm eating fresh raspberries with syrup for a lovely afternoon snack.) But thanks to a previous post of yours, I have Shout Wipes in the house. The splattered chocolate is now history, and the T-shirt can continue to be worn to UU events along with my flowing crinkled skirt and Clark's four-buckle sandles. (Just kidding!) Thank you, PeaceBang, for the laughs and the repair.

6:46 PM  

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