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Tuesday, 27 May 2008

feeling welcome

Well, I finally made it to the doctor's this morning...I tried to make an appointment last week but the doctor in question was away, and I was fed up of going from doctor to doctor (the two I saw previously have now left the practise). Then I walked to the chemist to get my prescription for some more of these headache tablets. The doctor reiterated that it may take up to a year. Ho hum. Alas the appointment clashed with my first rest stop, but the day after a Bank Holiday Monday is not going to be an easy one to get the appointment time you want...

Yesterday we stayed in for the Bank Holiday since the rain was ridiculous, certainly during the first part of the day. Charlie's hutch was standing in a pool of water. I brought him inside for my sake as much as his. The legs on his hutch are plastic so it's not too much of a problem, but I needed to put my wellies on just to reach him. The weather forecast was rain until Friday, but I've yet to see any today. Charlie doesn't mind; he likes being at the hub of things. He spends most of his time staring plaintively at me.


So, we watched a film yesterday - we got 'Enchanted' out from the video shop. Whether I was just in the right frame of mind I don't know, but I loved it. I thought the bit where she summons the pigeons, rats and insects of New York to do the housework with her (to a happy song) was hilarious. Andy and I decided that there is a good possibility I am a Disney character. I have that dopey streak, and would adore having animals and birds come at my tuneful call.

We went to a different church on Sunday evening as we're not having evening services at the moment due to the building project. I enjoyed the speaker, but couldn't help noticing that absolutely no one came to speak to us. Granted there were a mix of churches there and they may expect a few more strangers than usual, but we could have been anyone. We were much earlier than most and were sitting there by ourselves for ages before many people turned up, and started nattering to one another. I couldn't help a wry smile as I've been reading Simon Jones' book 'Why bother with church?' and in it he uses the anecdote of a woman visiting a church for the first time. The description he used of what going into the service was like was eerily similar - small clusters of people talking to each other, musicians up front, the occasional polite smile. One of our church's great gifts is it's welcome. I'm used to almost being bowled over with people's delight at seeing me. I suppose I couldn't help notice the contrast!

There's a balance between overpowering and completely ignoring someone. Often we don't go up and talk to someone because we feel maybe they want their own space. (I felt a bit of that on Sunday evening - people wondered who we were, but didn't actually approach us.) But that's something we can be sensitive too when we do talk to them - say a warm hello, perhaps ask where they're from, and be discerning as to whether they are pleased to be talked to or would rather have some space. Often people still appreciate a genuine hello and gesture of welcome even if they don't feel like a long conversation. Staring awkwardly at them from afar is certainly not going to help! And simply assuming someone else will talk to them is equally unhelpful - other people may be busy or talking to someone else.


Hmm, have I bored you stiff with my waffle yet?

Energy levels: 4-5/10
Headache: medium

Yesterday: 5/10, medium low
Sunday: 4-5/10, medium - high

2 comments:

Tricia said...

No, no, you haven't bored me stiff at all! :-) I agree that it's SO much better to be at a church where you're welcomed from the outset. When we visit churches, the ones we come back to are always the ones where people take time to talk to us and seem genuinely interested in us. (Sometimes people will say hello, but it feels too rote or too forced - this is often a problem in really big churches.)

Matt Wright said...

I agree with what you said about churches and can identify with your experience of feeling unwelcomed. It's not a very good witness for sure! I often find non-Christians more friendly and even more caring than Christians I know. We all need to try harder, and somehow encourage others to do the same.;)

"The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people."- Richard Foster