My husband just phoned to say he will be home soon...only a couple of more hours to wait! YAY!! Wow, I really missed him this weekend! He will likely be completely exhausted when he arrives and be more or less useless tomorrow, but that is okay. At least he will be here!!! (BIG SMILEY FACE!!)
Based on the experiences of the past 3 days, it seems that being alone was God's goal for me for some reason. That was certainly brought home to me this morning: after dithering about all morning about whether or not to attend the nearest Anglican church, simply because I can walk there easily in 20 minutes, I realized if I went I could also take a bag of books I finished reading this week and deposit them in the community library box near the church. How's THAT for a super spiritual hero giant reason to attend church...I know...right???? hahaha
O my.....crazy....the sermon was being given by a guest preacher, a woman I know, a colleague of my husband's that I have spent a fair amount of time with in the past year or two. She gave her usual amazing sermon, but here is the weird part that makes me wonder what on earth God has been up to this weekend with all the isolation: the woman did not recognize me!! DID NOT RECOGNIZE ME EVEN THOUGH I JUST HAD ANOTHER GOOD VISIT WITH HER 3 WEEKS AGO!!! I wasn't concerned about it when she was rushing about before the service getting set up while I smiled at her from the front pew. It wasn't until she was finished and sitting silently across the aisle from me that it started to dawn on me that she truly did not know who I was. While she was preaching she looked my way several times and I could see the gears turning in her head as she tried to remember where she might have seen me before, but eventually she gave up trying to figure it out. During the passing of the peace I gave her a hearty handshake and blessing, which she returned, but still didn't know me. Talk about bizarre!!!! A year ago we were travelling around the province together several weekends in a row. We are not just aquaintances. She is not the kind of person to hold something against someone and subsequently ignore them in public....in other words, she is an adult! Her lack of recognition was totally sincere. WEIRD!
The priest did recognize me and after the service invited me to join everyone for lunch downstairs in the hall. She pointed me in the direction of the stairs and down I went. No one else was down there yet so I used the opportunity for a washroom break, then re-entered the hall and sat down at a table in the middle of the room, thinking it would be difficult to be left sitting alone that way. Method in my madness...right? Well....I sat...and sat....and sat. 15 minutes later no one else had yet entered the hall. I could see the table of food set out near the kitchen pass through window, so I knew I was in the right place. I waited 5 more minutes and finally a couple of women came down and headed straight past me and into the kitchen to get the coffee urn put out. Then they sat down in the kitchen and started to chat. Everyone else in the congregation was still upstairs in the narthex visiting. I wandered over to the kitchen to introduce myself to the two women who had passed me when they came downstairs, but didn't seem to see me wave at them or hear my greeting. As I arrived at the window I opened my mouth to say hello and one of them stood up, waved her arm dismissively at me and said,"You can't start eating yet. The priest has not come downstairs yet to offer the blessing over the food." She sat down again and I stood there gaping like a fish for a second before turning around and returning upstairs to see what was so fascinating up there. Everyone was just standing around chatting, so I stood in the main traffic area smiling, but not one person made eye contact with me. I stood there ginning like an idiot for just over 5 minutes, then bolted for the doors and headed home. BIZARRE!!!!!
Unfortunately this sort of situation happens weekly in too many established congregations of all denominations. We get into our little cliques and visiting ruts, don't pay any attention to new folk and do nothing to ensure they feel welcome...or in today's case nothing to prevent new person me from feeling like anything more than some kind of piglet trying to sneak food ahead of the crowd....which of course I wasn't trying to do at all.
I laughed all the way home. My lack of impact on people I know is legendary, but for the preacher not to be able to place me is nothing short of shocking. I will be seeing her at a staff get together in a couple of weeks and it will be interesting to see what she has to say when I tell her how much I enjoyed her sermon at today's service. hahahaha She will be as shocked then about my presence at church as I was today about her not knowing who I was. She is very quick to deal with offenses, so that is how I know I as not being deliberately snubbed...on top of the fact that she is, as I wrote earlier, an adult.
The beautiful day outside when I was walking made up for the odd morning at the church and I spent a happy afternoon doing my laundry, lifting weights and resting. Now dinner is over, dishes done and I am waiting for the season finale of "Shades of Blue" to begin. My husband will be happy to be home, happy I recorded some boxing for us to watch tomorrow and happy that the clean up weekend at the camp went fabulously, with many volunteer helpers!
So my weekend alone is soon to come to an end....YAY!! Thank you Lord that, while I have no idea what I was supposed to get out of this down time on my own, there obviously was a reason for it and if you ever want to let me in on that, well...I wouldn't object!! All in all though, I kept busy and things went well...strangely but well.