Lake & Mountain Scene#top



Most of my life I have been the type of person who avoids people, and when in a social environment, hides in the corner hoping nobody notices me. Then I went through a period of time when I wanted (closer to demanded) that I be the center of attention. The second attitude, I find, is much harder to deal with then the first.

This morning I took in two services; the early Nazarene and later the Evangelical church. At the first service I was my normal secluded self, sitting far to the rear of the church and distant from all the others in attendance. Then for the second church I discovered I was an hour early and they were having a Bible study class (along with a film, which was about the Temple, a favorite subject of mine). After the film, comments were taken, and I found myself confidently adding my two cents worth of thought. Actually it turned out to be more like a dimes worth since I spoke up so often.

There was nearby an older lady who seemed particularly interested in what I had to say. So at services I planted myself by her and began to carry on a conversation with her. I talked about my experience with Indian lore, then I told here a bit about my story The Worm and the Thread, - and then the service began.

Before the service was completely over, the lady beside me put on her coat and headed for the door - without even a backward glance.

I had the feeling she was trying to escape from me (amazingly fast on her two walking canes). And I mulled it over in my mind for a long time what I might have said that could possibly have offended her. Being offensive, I am learning more and more, is a skill I am very adept at. And what is even more troubling, I am rarely aware that I have been offensive until the offended one has blown a gasket and confronts me with their hostility.

In just about every incidence it turns out the person had misunderstood what I had said (and on occasion I had expressed myself poorly causing the wrong conclusion) and we end up having a big laugh at my expense.

But this time I could not for the life of me see how I could have said anything to cause someone to withdraw from me so determinedly. I have a pretty good memory and power of recall; but with all this recall I could not recall anything offensive. I could think of something that might have been taken as doctrinally unsound to someone, which may have caused them to shy away from me like they would from a Hari Krishna who approached them. And I was afraid she might have been disturbed by something of this sort. And for sure I would not like to have anyone feel unsettled in their stance with themself because of anything I had said. This is one reason I say so little (even in my own church) that swerves from the fundamental doctrine believed by so many. And don't you know this is very hard for me considering that I don't agree with but very little of the fundamental and established doctrines?

So, I was afraid I had offended - and I was bothered by this, yet knowing there was not a thing I could do about it, even if I did know how I had offended.

Then I recalled what I had said about the story The Worm and the Thread. I told her that the cow patties were the denominations, that maybe two or three in a congregation would be willing to climb the thread to reach God, and I told her that Jesus called Himself a Worm. I also told her briefly (because the service started at this time) about my crying for a month after I had received the Holy Spirit.

I then heard (in my mind) what that must have sounded like to someone who had not experienced the infilling of the Holy Spirit, nor had read that Jesus referred to Himself as a worm. And, of course, there's probably one in a thousand who has knowledge of either of these experiences - and the likelihood of her being one of these is very remote.

I laughed.

Instead of hearing the Message, she had judged the messenger!

I hadn't offended her .... she just thought I was crazy!

That explained why she was so anxious to escape my presence. I highly suspect she feared this crazy man who had approached her out of nowhere was liable to follow her home or some such.

I was greatly relieved.

I would that everyone think I am crazy and that everything I say is absurd at best, and out and out heresy and demon inspired at worst. I might as well think this, because the chances of anyone thinking otherwise is nil to none.

Two things, I find, has come from this little experience. The first is that, rather than get shook because someone thinks ill of me, which is my lifelong practice, I was glad for it. It took me off the hook, so to speak. I've said elsewhere that there are two things I am learning to deal with: my ego, and the fact that I don't want to feel responsible for anyone's discomfort or their lack of self-esteem. I'm sure this sounds contradictory to what my website is all about - and it surely is. I say we have to feel absolutely rotten about our self, and have to place our self in very un comfortable situations - and be thankful for our lowly opinion about our self and our discomfort in order to be acceptable to God.

Being seen as crazy solves both of my problems. It certainly deals with my ego, as long as I can fully accept and be thankful for being seen as crazy.

And if people see me as crazy, they will read (or hear, though I haven't been called to preach or to teach) what I have to say with but a grain of salt, ready to doubt and reject everything I say. In fact, the chances are no one will bother to read it in the first place because it doesn't fit their belief system.

[ If it seems as if the life has been clipped out of this article: it has. To read the article in it's entirety, it is available in First Trump, the Bible section of this website.]


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