When I do certain things outside of the church I am now shocked at how unfriendly or suspicious people can be. I must stress that I do have non-Christian friends who are real gems – but I’ve been to some events, or been in town, and been taken aback at how unfriendly or indeed shallow, people can be!
I am not without my own faults. I have tons of them. I can be too defensive and I can suffer from irritability, something I abhor in myself. But I am warm, and, I hope, inclusive. The latter is something I am passionate about.
Last night I went to an event hosted by a popular young man (20s, gay) with whom I have recently worked. We had never spoken but had worked via email. I wrote a press release for him and publicised his project. We had shared some nice emails of a personal nature too – nothing deep but more than just shop talk. But at the event itself it was as if we were meeting at a bus stop. It was that impersonal. In fact, I have had more connection at a bus stop!
A few people from a networking group I belong to were there also. They were friendly enough but it all felt a little empty. I left feeling short-changed. I may have been overreacting though.
I wonder if it is ‘cos at church people are much proactive about being friendly, are less cynical, more embracing? That is a generalisation. I know some congregants can feel left out on a Sunday morning in the coffee shop area. I have felt that too on occasion. But last time that happened a woman called M sallied forth and rescued me from social isolation. Now I know more people I’ll just go up and talk to them anyway.