We’ve all done it. We’re all guilty of it. Myself included.
Talked during church. Not the before it starts or the after it ends, the during.
Call me old fashioned, not old, but it drives me bonkers when people talk during the actual church service. I remember being called out by a pastor on the pulpit when I was a teenager for talking during service, perhaps this is where my peeve gave birth. I find it annoying on so many levels.
1) Because I always feel like I’m the one who gets the dirty look from the old lady behind me, even though I’m just listening and nodding along! Freakin’ old lady… mind your business. But it really puts me in an awkward situation, because I don’t like to talk in church, so if you talk to me, you sort of force me to respond. And really, what is that important to say that can’t wait until afterwards? The worst is when the person asks a really quick question that’s easy for them to ask, but is really complicated for you to respond to. Like, “What time is that workout class again?” But the answer is really something like, “Well there are two, one at 3:30 and one at 5:15, but the first one is kickboxing and the later one is pilates, so it depends on which one you want to go to, which you never decided on yet.” But is that really something I wanna explain during the homily, which some lady behind me is guaranteed to be listening to intently? Nope.
2) Because I always feel that it is disrespectful.
A) We are in the House of God, in the presence of God himself, not in a coffee shop.
B) It’s a distraction to the pastor and to those around you – you might as well be a cell phone ringing for all to hear in the quiet of the moment, or what was to be quiet.
Let me share a couple instances where the disrespect comes into play.
Some time ago I allowed my daughter to sit with her friends during service. They of course were sitting a few rows behind me and every ten minutes or so I’d glance back to make sure there was no goofing off taking place. Every time I’d glance back I’d see them giggling and talking. Being the mother that I am, after twenty minutes of this taking place I left my seat, walked up to her, gave her the evil eye, waved my finger at her to come to me, and we sat in another pew. We sit in our new pew and within minutes hear the whispers of 3 girls behind us. I let it go for a moment as everyone will whisper something quick at some point in their life during a service. However, it continued for 10 minutes. I looked over my shoulder, evil eye still very present, to see 3 grown women engrossed in conversation about what they did last night. Please, pray tell me, how in the world am I suppose to explain to my daughter that it is rude and disrespectful to talk during church when the adults are setting the example that she is so eager to follow.
A more recent account would be just a few months ago. I happened to be attending 1st service, which I rarely do, and because of this I would skip my usual 2nd service. No sooner the thought was in my head another went racing through, “you idiot, you have to stay. You told your friend in the choir that one of their friends that doesn’t know anyone in church could sit with you this morning – in 2nd service!” I went to the 2nd service, requesting all my friends to change their seating so I could leave a spot open for this person who was to be attending. All during worship I kept a lookout and this person never showed. I started to get upset as I really didn’t want to sit through another service as I had to be back that evening, much earlier than normal. I just wanted to go home and start my Sunday nap early. There was a time of prayer during the worship service, before the sermon began, at which time a friend walked up to me and began praying for me. I was a little caught off guard for the moment, thinking to myself, I don’t need prayer (yes my ‘holier than thou’ attitude was going off in my head) but I could go with the flow. Apparently, I did need the prayer. It was such a moment that the tears began flowing and my heart was being touched. My friend finished and I attempted to remain in the moment. Attempt is the word here folks. Seriously!!! I could tell you who so and so married, when they married, what was going on that took them so long to get married and a multitude of other things that I learned from the people sitting behind me! I could NOT concentrate on worshipping at all! After 5 minutes of this I found my evil eye, placed it on my face, and ever so slowly turned to make eye contact. Houston we have engaged! It was sweet bliss throughout the remaining of the sermon until the close. COME ON PEOPLE!!!
As I stated in the beginning, I’m guilty of this myself. My friends are guilty. Their hushed whispers aren’t such whispers though when I can hear the one on the end and there are 4 other people between us.
Dare I say, if we could realize the blessing we are robbing someone of… we could very well be the tools that the devil is using to keep someone from reaching out to the cross.
I’ll close with something funny that someone sent me after I was expressing my peeve to them, telling me that his would be my new title in the church…
Six year old Angie and her four year old brother Joel were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang, and talked out loud. Finally, his big sister had had enough.
“You’re not supposed to talk out loud in church,” she hissed at Joel.
“Why? Who’s going to stop me?” Joel shot back.
Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, “See those two men standing by the door?”
I’m a husher!