I heard a lot of people talking and a lot of things were said about the new comer. Of all the sentences murmured I did NOT hear, “Well she looks adorable in that leopard print vest and did you see how nicely her nails were done?”
Now I have heard stories and sermons about scenes like this. I believe there is even a song somewhere, but I have never been a part of it, I have never seen the wary eyes or heard the stifled whispers first hand. The guest in our church was a little different, she did not quite belong, but I am sure that we have all heard a story or two about this kind of behavior.
There is the story of the new pastor dressing “inappropriately” for his first day at his new church. He writes of his experiences being ignored and rejected by his own church. They were shamed into stunned silence when he was introduced.
Now, I am 100% sure that this guest was not a new surprise pastor, but should that matter? We did have some people from our congregation who welcomed our visitor with loving hearts and even went out of their way to great our guest.
Later that day, during my usual Sunday phone call to my mom I told her about the mixed feelings toward the visitor in church today. I explained every detail of our visitor, from their demeanor down to the pink nails. I expected my conservative mom, who used to never let us girls wear pants to morning service, to be even more aghast than I was (I was also hoping this so I could feel better at being slightly judgmental). She sweetly chuckled to herself and replied, “Well, Kristin, of course your visitor came to church, you know that all dogs go to heaven.”
The chihuahua is almost a regular now.