Leah Farmer

Personal perspectives on faith, literature, and life.

Moments…Shared Pain

*Moments are simple vignettes from my day that struck me as needing to be shared without a ton of commentary**

 

Setting: Nail Salon on a quiet Tuesday night after work

Scene: Two bubbly women walk into the salon for pedicures. They are obviously friends and are enjoying being together. After a bit of catching up about kids and current doctors appointments (one of them is pregnant) the following dialogue occurred.

Friend 1: Soooo…tell me your big news? I’ve been waiting all day.

Friend 2: <hesitates> Well…Matt and I have finally made a decision to look for another church. We just feel like it’s time for us to be closer to our community and find a place that suits the season our family is in right now.

Friend 1: Oh

Friend 2 then rambles for about 5 minutes awkwardly. Trying to say what she needs to say about this current church (Mars Hill) without being gossipy or overly critical.

Friend 1: <complete silence>

Friend 2: <more empty chatter that eventually trails off into silence>

When Friend 1 finally speaks she says, in a very clipped voice “I hope God leads you somewhere Biblically sound and where you won’t be led astray by false teaching or being told what you want to hear.”

Friend 2: <facial expression is one of almost having been slapped> Thank you

 

My observations…

1. It was so painful to watch and listen to this on several levels but the primary was the complete and instantaneous pulling away of Friend 1. The lack of questions or comfort words. The lack of eye contact. The complete silence.

2. The gradual dawning of Friend 1’s disapproval on Friend 2 hurt my heart. She was trying so hard to be positive and forthcoming. To receive nothing in response from a friend in this circumstances can feel like a kick in the teeth.

3. The language of Church people. I seriously felt cringey at the way that the dialogue between the ladies is so specifically evangelical and so instantaneously off putting for everyone else in the salon. I won’t use specific phrases but it reminds me of how unapproachable language can make people seem.

4. My personal reaction so surprised me. I felt tears well up in my eyes and a rock in the pit of my stomach. I been Friend 2. And as ashamed as I am to admit it, in my early 20’s I was also Friend 1. Time healed those wounds for the person I hurt…but graciously God has never allowed the wound to completely close for me.

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