I was just reading on “Dreaming Beneath the Spires” about meeting people who purport to be Christian but leave us wondering. What kind of representative are we? The other week I had had a really bad day, if, the Rev wants to live in a hovel in his study , that’s fine with me, although it’s a bit embarrassing when folk come to consult with him about something, and they climb over umpteen pairs of trainers, running gear and two smelly dog beds , his desk is in there somewhere too.I try to ignore it, it’s his territory, I do have to answer the phone, this always has it’s cable shut in the drawer, so that when I put the receiver to my ear, it is snatched away and falls on the floor leaving the caller shouting from the carpet, but I digress.
I was having a bad day because our bedroom was beginning to look like the Study. I watch these d.i.y programmes where beautiful relaxing spaces are created for couples to relax in. They don’t have towels, camouflage clothing left over from the Army, old receipts, 16 copies of past order of services and swimming gear drying on pictures on the wall! They don’t have books piled high on bedside tables , so high I can’t see the alarm clock, they don’t have the communion silver ( it’s safely locked away now) under a chair, and other unmentionable things lying around the floor. I really lost it, it took me all day to clear a space ,make it smell nice and fill three bags of rubbish. The Rev. had left his sermon to the last minute, and was not finding inspiration anywhere, and was not a nice boy, so my mood got worse. By the evening I was tired and irritable and the Rev. was tetchy. We had to go to a community ceilidh type evening with people I didn’t know, and I was not in the mood for dancing. I also knew that once there I would be left on my own while my dearest went off and exchanged swimming and running times with friends. You know , I swam 50 miles in 15 seconds with my legs tied together and a brick on my head! I’m jealous because I swim badly and always wish I was fitter.
Anyway , I felt like a fish out of water,(excuse the pun) the hall was gloomy and the whole thing was a bit naff and all I wanted to do was go home. So when one of his friends’ wives came to chat with me, and I thought ,”oh no, not more small talk I do that all the time , it’s part of my “job”, I was curt and quite unfriendly, actually I couldn’t believe I did it. Anyway I insisted we left and I fell asleep as soon as we got home. Now, those folk weren’t Christians, and what kind of ambassador was I for God, I was the Ministers wife who came across as a cold, irritable, old bag. However, I feel, I can’t be “off duty”,can any of us really, which can be a bit wearing. I know God understood, but now, somehow ,I have to repair the damage.
It’s awful being human isn’t it! We are SO imperfect, but then that’s where grace comes in.As Yancey says , “There is nothing you can do to make God love you less, and there is nothing you can do to make God love you more…” or words to that effect, but that isn’t always the case with people. I get to meet all kinds too, ladies who want to tell me all the gossip, a woman who is “on fire” for the Lord and burns everything to a cinder with her sparks, leaving people running in all directions when they see her coming because she is just too much.
There is a man who catches me after the sermon each Sunday and engages me in a discussion where he seeks to point out where my husband got it wrong and preaches an alternative just for me, I take it ,so that I can repeat it to the Rev. to put him right.
I am pleased that they are “in the Church” I hope by being there they hear God’s word and they add to the tapestry of church life.. I grit my teeth and put up with them, but God welcomes them with grace. I have much to learn………. ,and I see you in the supermarket when you duck behind your trolley when you see the Ministers wife coming! What is a christian? One who follows Jesus however wobbly their legs ? and we all get a bit wobbly at times.