Adrianna usually has a smile for everyone. While taking Sunday School attendance, she listens to people. Her, “How are you,” is not merely polite talk, but a genuine inquiry into your week. When S.M. and I walked into Sunday School last week, she looked serious, even unhappy.
“Is everything all right?” I paused next to her table.
Adrianna looked up at me. Her eyes were more baggy and weary. Strain deepened the lines around her mouth. She said, “Just one of those days.”
Adrianna never says a negative word about anyone. I know that ministry can be messy. No matter where you go, what church you attend, or how great your church is, people are people. I’ve heard others complain, but never Adrianna. She gifts people with her smile and her buoyant attitude. I wish I could be that kind of person, but I struggle between being a positive person and seeing life as it is in all its reality.
“I’ll pray for you.” I said.
“I appreciate that.”
Lord, please help Adrianna get through the day. Lift her burden. In Jesus name, Amen. After saying that prayer in my heart, I sat down next to S.M. who handed me a box of tissue.
This Christmas everyone was gifted with the cold virus. I got it, too. You can blame people who come to church sneezing and coughing, but it’s a mystery how the virus manages to get around no matter how much you wash your hands with disinfect soap and sit away from people who look like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (minus the antlers). The teaching during Sunday School was great, but I was too distracted to really keep the lesson in my heart.
My head was really in a fog. Words came as if from a great distance and the warmth of the room made me sleepy. Church was even worse. S.M. elbowed me. He later said I started to snore. When I got home, I took some dayquil and made a cup of black tea. I started thinking about Adrianna and church in general as I sat on the couch wrapped in a great big quilt.
S.M. says I must accept what I cannot change. Oh, I am one of those people that could sit all day and analyze the people in church, why they do the the things they do, and really become a judgmental person. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t love the people at my church, but I am flawed and human.
And maybe I could lower my expectations a little bit.