Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Second Incident of 2009

The second incident of 2009 happened to me on Sunday at church.

I hope noone sees this post as being mean or that I'm talking about someone. Since this is my blog and my way of working through issues I'm going to include it. It is a situation that has made me feel a mixture of emotions from anger to frustration to sadness and even humor.....

I had an altercation about bathroom curtains with an old lady at church. The handful of us church members who were there that day witnessed it. I’m pretty sure that when I have my gallbladder surgery later in the month this particular old lady will not be sending me any get well soon wishes. One thing I find to be funny is that I managed to make an old lady mad. What kind of person ticks off an old lady? Obviously I’m that kind of person because this lady and I have never mixed well. Unknowingly I upset her four years ago. I had just recently been forgiven for that because she had started speaking to me again. I guess I managed to undo all that in a one minute conversation……

We had to do some remodeling on the women’s bathroom/nursery. Right now the room is still torn up, but we need to redecorate it. Our church is stuck in the late 60’s early 70’s in terms of decorating so I’m hoping this is our chance to freshen up at least one room in the church. I know there are debates about this at churches all over the world, but I do think there is something to be said about a church that does have a fresh appearance. Some disagree because those attending church should look at the members and what they are teaching, not the building. But if a building looks stale what does that say about the activities going on at the church? Anyway, the two bathrooms and the nursery need to be repainted. Then the builder hung pipe (galvanized plumbing pipe to be exact) along one side of the nursery to hang curtains on. In theory it was to create two private nursing areas. In reality anyone stepping in there will wonder if they’ve somehow left the church and entered an ER. It doesn’t matter because I don’t ever plan on needing to use the nursing areas, but if I did they’d make me claustrophobic.

Before Sunday School a group of us were discussing the best way to handle the redecorating. It was decided someone would come up with 3-4 color schemes and let the women vote on them. We’re looking at two bathroom curtains, 1 curtain on the nursery window, one other smaller curtain and 3-4 larger curtains for the nursing areas. We want them to all match in some sort of a pleasing color scheme that coordinates with the walls and doesn’t look like someone had used it for 30 years before deciding to donate it to the church. I don’t think we’re asking for much.

I won't go into a whole lot of detail about the confrontation but it wasn't pretty. It happened when I had to tell this lady what the plans where for redecorating the bathroom. The first part happened between Sunday School and church and the second half after church. It is sad that someone got so angry with me over something so small, over something that we are trying to do to make our church look better. It is frustrating because trying to change anything around our church is like turning a rusty bolt. I was also utterly embarrassed because this was taking place in church. We were standing in a spot that almost everyone had to walk by to leave the church. Jay tried to make me feel better by saying no one was looking. Yeah, right. Who doesn't stare at a spectacle. I am thankful there weren't as many people there that particular Sunday. I walked back to our pew, gathered our stuff and tried to walk out with some dignity.

I feel horrible about the whole ordeal. I don't go around purposely trying to make people angry. I was simply trying to help out in an area where our church needed help. I don't normally try to make people hating me top on my list of things to do, but somehow it happened. I feel like I can confidently put on job applications and my resume that I work well with others because usually I do. Normally I can bend my own personality enough to get along with anyone if I'm forced to. I may not enjoy it, but I can do it. This is a whole other situation though. I'm still trying to decide the best approach to take. Should I write her a letter, should I try again to talk to her, should I leave her alone, I don't know....

So this is what Jay and I are referring to as The Incident of '09. After I got home that afternoon and I was resting on the couch and reliving the whole conversation I couldn't believe it had even happened. Just a few short hours earlier I was sitting there sipping coffee enjoying the fact that I didn't have to study a Sunday School lesson to study. I had no plans that morning to upset anyone at church. There are so many rewards being a member of a small church but there also are so many trials.

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