Friday, August 04, 2006
People Say the Strangest Things!
I was at Hardee's in North Manchester the other day, my usual haunt when I'm away from Timbercrest for a little bit. As I was enjoying my sandwich and the USA Today, an acquaintance of mine came in with a co-worker.
I saw him, but he didn't see me. That's important to remember.
I waved to him as he stood in line, but he didn't wave back. I kept at my paper.
His co-worker chose the table right next to mine. When my acquaintance sat down, his back was to me, and he still didn't see me.
As they ate, another group of men came from their workplace and sat next to them.
And therein lies the problem.
This acquaintance of mine is a very devout man. He is active in his Church in North Manchester, he is a member of the Gideons, and he teaches an adult Sunday School class. He was even wearing a Christian-themed T-shirt.
But to listen, you may never have known it. I know I shouldn't eavesdrop, but I simply couldn't avoid the expletives that came out of his mouth. At first, I thought it was just farm-talk. Many farmers I know use a shorter word for "manure" and don't blink an eye about it. But then came the other words - words I almost never think, let alone utter (or write in a blog!).
I had just finished my sandwich and was rising to get a refill of my iced tea when this man recognized me. His mouth shut as tight as Jack Benny's vault.
I said, 'Howdy.' He said, 'you been sittin' there long?'
I don't write this to condemn my acquaintance. He is a good man, very likeable. It was amazing how much cleaner the conversation was after I got back to the table with my re-fill. :-)
I write this to say that I can relate to this man. How many times have I thought I was getting away with something, only to be witnessed unwittingly? When was I unkind to an innocent, only to be seen by a child from my congregation? When was I inappropriate (or how often) only to be forced to eat my own words.
There is an old-time expression that says, "Christ is the unseen guest at every table, the unseen listener to every conversation."
May I recall that next time I think no one else is looking!