Friday, March 18, 2005

" must be very lucky to have her in your church"

You probably need a picture in your head of Sonya.

Sonya isn’t a designer person - from her comedy animal print jumpers, to her thick tinted spectacles, to her big eyed Kermit backpack – she doesn’t represent the ‘beautiful pomo people’ the trendy, intelligent, missional, conference going people that read Brian McClaren books! Less emerged more submerged - in societies eyes.

Sonya was tapping on the window and I tried to make myself small. The tapping was unrelenting – I was aware that other people waiting with me to get their hair cut were looking. Tap…tap…tap! I knew I needed to respond so I did that ‘Laurel and Hardy finger wave up close to my chest’ thing coupled with a quick smile. That did the trick and off Sonya bounced. I carried on reading my book but acutely aware that the eyes of those in queue were still fixed firmly on me. I looked up and gave a shrug and a smile that seemed to diffuse the attention.

“Next” – Andrew the Cypriot barber swept the chair and I sat down. “So!” he said in his thick accent “you know that woman do you…?” Sonya has been coming to church for just about 5 years, a dreadful childhood, a tragic adulthood she is one of ‘life’s treasures!’ believe me there are not many like Sonya in this world.

Carefully and slowly I say “ye-eah…!”. The snipping stops, “how do you know her then…?” The rustling of papers stop, a look in the mirror confirms what I already know – everyone is looking at me again. “Well… she…” I’m dreading that she has done something awful. “Well, you see, she kind of, she comes to our church…”; “She comes to your church?”; “actually she is a member of our church community”

The pause was a little too long for comfort as Andrew thought about what he was going to say next. He stops talking to me via the mirror and makes eye contact. “Well you must be very lucky to have her in your church … I have never met anyone who does as much good .. she is always helping people …she is so kind – you must have some church!”

The rhythmic snipping restarts, heads disappear behind their papers and I smile. Sonya with all her idiosyncrasies and quirks is a special member of our congregation. "you must have some church!” I'm not sure about that! but I do feel proud that she should feel at home with us and that she has worked out a life of mission which comes as natural to her as breathing!


Stephen said...

Yup. Wish we had more like that (including me)!

Listeningear said...


It is good that people like Sonya call your church their home and community. A place where everyone belongs.

My sister was visiting for our daughters wedding,her and her husband came to church with us on Sunday, one of our special people who hadnt been around for a while came up and congrad. them on their wedding (their's was nice but it was seven years ago) I was trying to explain to my son who had done this, and I said you know she is about this tall and is a little odd, and we had to go through all the "so called odd" people before we got the right person. My sister was amazed at the amount of different people we have in our church but thought it was great as she said they had one lady who had mental health problems coming to their church and the congregation froze her out.

So Gordon, we should be thankful that Sonya and others find their place to belong in our congregations and that God gives us enough grace each day to love them in spite of their unusual ways.


off shore fisherman said...

I am passing the Book Stick to you!
biscotti_brain sent it the questions to me.(I have had trouble posting this weekend at my Blog) but the questions are at Biscotti_brain if you can't read them at my blog.Thanks
off shore fisherman

Gordon said...

off shore fisherman - thanks for the book stick - I'm busy looking to see if there are anybooks how to catch fish using a shell and a coconut!! Seriously I'll post something up - thanks for spresding the fun!

Gordon said...

Stephen - it is interesting how the most unlikely of people are so challenging - it's mostly why I started this blog so that teh lessons wouldn't be lost.

Gordon said...

Glenda - it is a shame when people are uncomfortable with the 'whosoever'like I just mentioned when we come together in all our rich variegation we learn so much. I remember reading about the wedding I think on your blog and smiled as I imagined the chaos and beauty of diversity.