Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Knack For Offending A Person I Like

So I seem to have a knack for offending my friend Mildred (name changed to protect innocent). Several months ago at a church potluck I put what turned out to be a very strange deviled egg on my plate. Sitting at my table with my friends (including Mildred's husband and mother in-law) I was poking and prodding and generally playing with the deviled egg rather than actually eating the egg. If I recall the facts correctly, Mildred's mother in-law commented on the deviled egg games and I replied how "strange" I found the composition of this deviled egg. Turns out it was Mildred's deviled egg. As any good person would do she did not hold it against me I was not a fan of the deviled egg.

The other day I posted about my horrible experience at church Wednesday night thinking that only 2 people from church read my blog and I was OK. Well it turns out that Mildred's sister was reading as well and hooked onto my comment about, "So here we are 10 years later at church the other night. A lady who I value for her simple uncomplicated faith... " which she knew was speaking of her sister and she had her sister read it, and well I once again looked like a loser.

So here is my official defense and disclaimer.

1. That sentence is a compliment! I regret the fact that I don't posses the ability to have a simple faith. I am rat who struggles with my faith constantly! I hold God out at a Deistic distance and protect myself from intimacy with him and others through theology, philosophy and intentional arrogance. I want to accept God and believe in him without 10,000 questions. Several of my favorite people in life are those who do that.

2. Mildred is one of those super people who are far more important and valuable to our church than ANYONE realizes. Few people are as involved in leading and serving in as many ministries as Mildred is. She is a diligent servant in our children's ministry, our women's ministry, and our benevolent ministry. I do not believe there are two ministries in a church more important than children and benevolence. She is a leader who shows diligence in both. My 5 year old daughter LOVES Ms. Mildred's bible class and is often offended that her mom and I can not arrive to Bible class on time on Sunday morning. There is no one in our church with a more important role to me than Ms. Mildred and their Wednesday night teacher for their continual service to my daughters!

3. Mildred reminds me of my mom. I have often watched Mildred with her teens and she soooooo reminds me of my mom when we were teenagers. I believe my parents were nearly perfect parents. Few people I know bat 100% with their children being involved faithful members of their church in their adult years. My parents did that! I see too that Mildred will have the same positive effect on her kids. I value that in a person!

4. Mildred did not take offense in either the deviled egg or the "simple uncomplicated faith" comment. I assume the worst in the people, and that is such a poor quality in a person. Mildred addressed my comment and asked for clarification which I deeply value in a person. She did not let pettiness cloud her vision. Imagine a world where more of us acted like that rather than being catty and self-centered.

As those of you who are regular readers know, I often find myself VERY frustrated at the values and lack of vision and mission I see in the decision making from our church leadership. The contrast to my rants, which I often post, are the reasons I am a part of Cardinal Drive. There is positive to the church, that I don't record here often enough.

2 years ago this February my wife and I joined Cardinal Drive as members. We had been attending on Wednesday Bible class for six months at that point, and had visited on Sunday mornings on a few occasions as well. There were 3 things about Cardinal Drive that led me to desire to place membership there on a full time basis. Although two of them are irrelevant to this discussion, the number one reason is very relevant. It was the friendliness of the membership. There were no airers of pretentiousness, instead it was a warm welcoming body of people. There were most certainly a few families that made this true, we were welcomed with open arms by the members of CD. Few churches had ever felt as open as CD did. My friend Mildred was among those people who were so open and welcoming! It was hearts like hers that made CD so attractive to our family.

Thank you Mildred for not being offended by my comment. I respect and treasure you!

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