I wasn't comfortable
Sunday morning...our patronal feastday. I happened to be outside with my son toward the end of the service (he was weary and ready for the FEAST) and I was trying to keep him somewhat subdued while still paying partial attention to the happenings inside. (It was a warm day and so the Narthex doors were propped open as well as the Nave doors...from the parking lot one could see all the way into the Altar itself. Anyway, as I parented Nicholas (as feebly as I am able to) I watched a threesome of newcomers slip out the backdoor and as they did I overheard their hushed conversation as they passed me by:
"I was not comfortable here," the young man said.
"No, neither was I," the older woman replied.
Oh no! I felt really bad to hear this and wanted to run over and welcome them...perhaps help them to understand what we were doing inside the building they'd just left. My son horded my attention at the moment and so I was unable to greet them and they rather stealthily wisked past me to their car. I wanted to fix this problem...they just don't understand, that's all.
As they drove away, my mind was churning. What could we do to not let this sort of thing happen? I suppose we could change things to make people feel more comfortable...maybe a Harley parade? Some more showiness or flash? Fr. James could lose the vestments and perhaps try a business suit...or maybe even just some khakis and a polo? Well, it was hot...how about shorts and a T-Shirt? Perhaps it wasn't the environment at all that made them uncomfortable? Well, I suppose we could tone down the theology...not be so dogmatic maybe? Of course, maybe we weren't dogmatic enough? Sigh....
Mom always told me that you can't please everyone.
And since this is the case, I guess we need variety. Denominations. God knows, it is profoundly important that people "feel comfortable."
I really hated to hear these folks say what they did...it kinda hurt, as if they were talking negatively about a loved one. But, truly, who of us present day converts did not (or would not) have said the same thing when or if we had entered an Orthodox Church before we were ready? Maybe they'll come back...being uncomfortable is a normal feeling when standing at the precipice of something GRAND.
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I wasn't comfortable