Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What? Say hi to someone?

Before you read the excerpt below, I have to admit I've been guilty of feeling the same way. I say hello when I sit down and I'll say hello on the way out. But to be "forced" to say hi to people felt scripted and that I was doing it just out of duty and to get it over with. Then I wouldn't say anything afterwards to anyone. I would come late on purpose. And I do know others who do the same, feel the same and avoid the greeting time. And part of it was because it was such a short time to try to get to know someone or have any kind of conversation. I don't know Abby's spiritual state, but I did like her answer. In a house of God - how dare we - I - turn my back on people He loves and has placed there for a reason. I turned around one time to say hi to someone, and found someone who just needed a smile even though she was crying. She didn't want to talk, but thanked me for just saying hi to her and asked me to pray for her. Others around her didn't even notice her state. What if I had not said hi to her at that time? You never know who you will touch or make an impression on, even if it is sometimes "forced." God sometimes has to push us to do things and this may be His way of pushing me out of my comfort zone. Living our lives is a form of worship to God, not just Sundays in church. What we do everyday should be honoring to Him and point others to Him. What are you doing to show the love of Jesus - in His house and in your community?

DEAR ABBY: I am writing about a change I have seen in church. I accept the loud guitar music and informal settings, although I do miss the traditional hymns and formal altars.
What I cannot get used to is the forced "friendly" greeting and handshaking. I attend church to meditate and worship with my family. I do not go to shake hands with strangers and give them a greeting dictated by a pastor.
I like people. I am naturally caring, outgoing and friendly. However, I believe that a greeting or handshake should come from my own heart.
I have mentioned this to friends and family from all faiths, ages and walks of life. None of them like this scheduled "greeting" either. Many say they head for the restroom at that time, turn their backs or just shake hands with the people they came with, come to church late to avoid it, or don't come at all. Others feel the practice is unsanitary. I suggest that church leaders take an anonymous poll and ask how many in their congregations agree with me. What do you think, Abby? -- MINISTER'S DAUGHTER, CAYUCOS, CALIF.

DEAR DAUGHTER: Thank you for asking my opinion. Here it is: Something is wrong in our fragmented society if, for one moment in a house of God, people cannot find it in their hearts to reach out and make sure that everyone feels included and welcome. And for those who fear it is unsanitary -- bring small bottles of hand sanitizer.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

1 comment:

Katie Lady said...

Nice. You go, Abby. I agree with her, actually. If people are so "against" it, there is something wrong with our society. I've just recently challenged someone to make every conversation with people they meet anywhere intentional, so as to share Christ. And I'll tell you what, if we can't show Jesus in church, who was willing to embrace lepers, we'll be hard pressed to do it anywhere else!