Once, when I brought Ken (who was then, my boyfriend) home with me, he stayed in my sister’s room. Mandee moved to a different bedroom and gave him her private little basement suite for the weekend. Periodically, if she needed something from her room, she would go in to grab it. Which is why he figured she was the one who had snitched his cookies.
He had a package of them in his gym bag. (Apparently this was part of his survival plan, when going to visit potential in-laws). But when he went grab a few, they were gone. The whole package was empty!
He thought, “Geesh, Mandee. Get your own cookies.” But I guess he was trying to make a good impression, because he just kept quiet about the whole thing.
Then, the dog threw up, and the truth came out… literally. We all had a good laugh over Ken’s conjectured scenario of my nineteen-year-old sister, sneakily pilfering through his gym bag and swiping his stash of cookies.
You have to wonder why he didn’t just ask, “Did you steal my cookies?” But then, the last person you want to accuse of being a cookie thief is the prospective sister-in-law who just gave you her room for the weekend.
I think the Church is a lot like a big house full of prospective in-laws. There’s a marriage coming between Christ and his bride, and at that time, the truth will all come out. But for now, we keep our formulated, conjectured suspicions about each other to ourselves.
Now, if you’re talking about a box of cookies, this is probably a wise approach. But regarding the high-stake issues of life–morality and relationships and finances and decisions–asking a gentle question or two can communicate that we care. At least enough to not make assumptions.
Having the truth come out can be messy, but we’re all in this Church together. Whatever is true of the Church is true about all of us, collectively. Privately saying, ‘Geesh…’ and nothing more is not a viable option.
I LOVE this, Shannon. Great insight. Assumptions can be so hurtful. If I'm going to assume anything, I want to be counted as one who thought the best of others. I fail all too often.
I attended a large banquet Thurs. night where a couple arrived late. They were seated at my table and they brought their young boy with them. He was probably the only child at the banquet, But from where I was sitting, I could see that he had special needs. Sometime during the keynote address, the little boy began making noises and I could see the irritated looks on the faces of others when they turned around or looked in our direction to let his parents know that they were not happy with their son's behavior. The dad was quick to remove the child from the room (as I'm sure he has done hundreds of times), but I wondered if I would have been one of the ones who was irritated if I had “assumed” that this was simply an undisciplined child.
Patricia, so, so true regarding special needs kids. One of my fb friends asked, yesterday, for moms of special needs kids to share 'what not to say'…. Oh my goodness. People say the most hurtful things. Even family members will say, “he just needs discipline”. So hurtful when you are a parent who has poured out all you have for this precious child, and you have nothing left to absorb the hurt.
Blessings to you, Patricia. I love your heart.