I’m finally back! I’m sorry it has been such a long time since I’ve written a post. As people say, life got in the way. If I may indulge in some personal stuff…
As you guys know, I’ve been house-hunting/doing house stuff since about June. I’m happy to say that we closed on the house and I am now currently typing in a house that hubby and I own! It is so strange and wonderful and overwhelming all at the same time. I love it here and have already found my “zen spot”: a La-Z-Boy setup by the fireplace, with a cute little end table that I got from an antiques store. I relax there with a cup of tea or coffee and a good book and take in the garden view from my bay window. Or I look up at the vaulted ceilings or at purple-framed, calligraphied quote from The Velveteen Rabbit hanging on the other side of the fireplace. It is a lovely place that I can claim for myself. Picture to come soon, I’m sure. 🙂
Anyhow, we still haven’t completely moved in yet, so it has still been hustly and bustly in my life. So, on with the topic of this post, shall we? 😉 Oh, but first, the obligatory disclosure that I recommend you read before any Spiritual Sunday post. Read it? Okay, moving on:
I met our next-door neighbor who seemed nice enough, albeit a touch pompous. She told us a bit about herself and her two sons, which she was quick to describe by saying, “They’re good Christian boys.”
Which brings me to today’s post. If I’m to be honest, I have to say my initial reaction to this statement was an inward cringing. But I nodded and smiled politely and let her go about introducing herself.
I have to begin by saying that I do define myself as a Christian (actually, a rebel Catholic to be exact), so by no means was the mention of Christianity my reason for inwardly cringing. At the same time, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m respectful of all beliefs/non-beliefs and have friends from all walks of life. And my friends are wonderful, every single one of them.
When she asked me this question, a plethora of questions ran through my mind: Is she expecting me to say that I’m a good Christian girl? Has she been watching one too many episodes of GCB? Is she from the south? Do only people from the south refer to themselves as “Good Christian so-and-sos”? What kind of impression is she trying to give me by saying her sons are Good Christian Boys? That they’re innocent? That they’re pious? That they’ve had good upbringing and won’t hurt anyone? That they can play a mean game of biblical Trivial Pursuit? That they’ve been praying for us ever since we’ve moved in because we look like sinful people? I mean, really. What the heck does she mean by saying that?
Was she trying to subtly hint that she won’t put up with devilish shenanigans from us? Or that she won’t tolerate it if take the Lord’s name in vain in front of her sons (who, by the way, are in their 20s, so it’s not like they’re young ones)? Or maybe that they’re good, Christlike neighbors who are loving and who help out in times of need? I’m really hoping she meant that last one.
At the same time, other questions ran through my mind: Does anyone ever introduce themself as a Good Jewish Woman, or Nice Atheist Man, or Snazzy Buddhist Girl (okay, maybe not that one)? And how would this mother of two Good Christian Boys feel if I introduced myself in kind as a Good Muslim Woman or a Loving Lesbian Woman with a Caring Wife (obviously, by my abovementioned comments–I have a hubby and define myself as Christian–I’m neither)? I feel as though both of those labels are on equal ground and just as defining as being a Good Christian Boy, though they may also garner some initial inward cringes.
I respect the fact that she is proud of bringing up her boys in the Christian faith and I am glad that she’s so comfortable being straightforward about it. But at the same time I truly hope that the respect is mutual and that she can also respect my own faith, the faith of any of the friends who will visit my house, the faith of my husband, and the faith of humanity as a whole. Because humanity is a beautifully diverse thing, and not everyone’s going to believe what she believes. And I hope she can not only accept that, but also embrace that.
My head still can’t wrap my head completely around this revelation, but those are my thoughts for now.
What do you guys think about all this? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! 🙂
****Also, sneak peek for tomorrow: I got to check off something on my “Things to Do Before I Die” list! I’m so excited to tell you all about it!!!!!