Monday, December 17, 2012

The Grinch or Eeyore... neither are very good.

This week I kinda felt like Eeyore. I felt like I was walking around with not only a big ugly gray cloud hanging over my head. There are a few things that created or added to this cloud all week. I was really hurt by someone that I'm positive had no intentions of hurting me, so confused about something, the awful tragic event in Connecticut  but the thing that has made me most upset all week is this stupid Facebook campaign by sisters to wear pants on Sunday in protest against the inequality within the church. 

It has really really upset me. I have written and rewritten blog posts that I've wanted to share on the subject.  (I decided something's are better left unsaid) (Hence I haven't blogged in a while)

But this gray cloud hung over me all week.  So today when I was looking around the Sunday School room, I saw it. Something that I was SO hoping I wouldn't see in my ward. So when I looked over and saw her... I was so mad. There she was in her wedge shoes, nylons.... And green khaki pants. I looked her up and down and thought of every possible nasty judgement I could. It's almost indescribable the anger that ran through my head as I stared at this girl sitting there, staring at her phone, with a little smirk on her face. 

Part of me wonders if the Sunday school teacher taught the wrong lesson on purpose. (I taught last week so I know he was supposed to teach on Ether) but instead he taught the beginning of Moroni and our Sunday School turned into a discussion about the priesthood and particularly women's role. I made a comment (of an idea I had already formed through one of the two blogposts I didn't post) about my gratitude about how divinely different the roles of the genders are, making reference to the proclamation to the family. I probably slipped in how I've been thinking about it all week... But I definitely didn't go farther than that. But there were some sweet girls sitting on the opposite side of the room who clearly didn't see the girl in pants. They not only brought up the pants protest, but called it Satan's work. 

Everyone on my side of the room were squirming in their seats as we listened to these young naive girls make unfiltered comments while the girl in pants stared at her phone with her face getting more and more red every second. 

I think that's when it happened. It was almost like I was the Grinch that had a heart two sizes too small... I think it was then, or maybe it was when the girl in pants finally raised her hand and made a comment that wasn't mean, wasn't harsh, just suggested that maybe not all wards are as great as ours. 

It was then that I could almost literally feel my little Grinch heart grow and I had so much love for the girl in pants. All I wanted to do for the rest of that Sunday School lesson was just put my arms around her to make sure she knew how much I loved her and how glad I was that she came to church that day. 

Now I wish I could tell you that some miraculous thing happened where we all joined hands and sang "He's got the whole world in His hands" together. But it didn't. But what did happen took away my little grey cloud replaced it with rays of sunshine. 

The girl in pants was sitting by herself so after Sunday School I went and moved her scripture case and sat next to her. We talked about the game she was playing on her phone, she showed me the church's wifi password, and when the bishop got up in Relief Society to say "Wear whatever you want to church, all God asks is to wear your best" and tears rolled down her cheeks, I was there to put my arm around her. 

Now this is an embarrassing story really. I should have been kinder, had better thoughts, and been more loving from the beginning... But sometimes it's lessons like this that help me remember what this life, what the gospel, is all about. It's not about being or looking perfect. It is, despite our individual trials and challenges, using the Gospel to come unto Christ. I have no idea why the girl in pants wanted to make a stand... and honestly it doesn't matter.  She is still a child of God, still a good person, and still deserves my respect and love.  

It reminds me of my favorite quote of all time by C.S. Lewis from the essay, "The Weight of Glory." 

"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no 'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations -- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendors."

So I guess I hope when the girl in pants went home after Relief Society... I hope she can say, "I'm so glad I went to church today"


The UnMighty said...

"Satan's work?" Pretty strong. I'm glad you weren't the one to suggest that.
Good post, Kristin. You're a very insightful person.

Angela said...

I liked this post :)

Camile said...

Once again - I have so many thoughts on the subject, without the time or articulation to share them. but, this was a great post Kristin!