Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How'd You Get In Here?

Those were the exact words said to me.
Just a few minutes ago, in fact.

I happened to be walking down the hallway of the parish office/chapel complex (where I work part time).  I just put out some flyers for an upcoming Medjugorje Pilgrimage and finished tidying up a meeting space from last evening's youth ministry party.

I noticed a lady and man with their hands full of bags struggling to open the doors and come inside.  I did just a normal thing and opened the doors for them.
She said, "How'd you get in here?"
"I work here."

It was an unusual thing to say to someone unfamiliar.  I could see if someone you knew was joking, like "Boy, they let anyone in here now!"  or something like that...

I think the person may work in the parish mission clothing outlet.
In other words, this person gives out clothes to the less fortunate and down and out.
Clearly she thought that I was one of the day's clients and that I had somehow managed to get in the building before the other client's were allowed to enter.

"How'd YOU get in HERE?"
I must need to comb my beard and what little hair I have.

In one of my past lives I was a chauffeur for a funeral home (it was a difficult time I just left (was fired) from my job as a rector of a protestant congregation (of which my attempted resignation wasn't accepted---long story).  Anyways I had to pick up some people at a hotel.  They complained about everything, I was apparently late, I was supposed to come into the lobby to 'help' them to the car, I was even called, "driver".
I was clearly of the 'servant class'.  It didn't matter that I was a father or husband or son.  It didn't matter that I was ordained or held a graduate degree or was a rector or held different positions on boards and committees.
Finally I couldn't take the snobbery anymore--I let it slip that my wife was a physician.
Oh how the tune changed.

Sometimes I am on the other side of the equation.  Once while walking with my lovely wife and son along the inner harbor in Baltimore--a man approached us and said something to me.
I was in protective mode.
"No!"  I firmly replied.
My wife and son laughed.  "Why'd you say 'No'?"
"I didn't want to give him any money."
They shook their heads "He wasn't asking for money.  He said to you 'Nice shirt.' "
So I replied to a compliment with. "No."

Oh well.  May we all learn to see Christ a little more.
Come Lord Jesus.