I stopped in at my Weight Watchers meeting at noon. I decided to stop for a bit since I'll be traveling like a crazy woman over the next month or so and I'd rather spend the money on healthy groceries. I wanted to say goodbye to the amazing team that has championed me over these past six months and fewer pounds.
The meeting is held in a church in the neighborhood which has special meaning since it's where I hosted my mother's memorial service. Sometimes I'll stop in the church and say a prayer. Sometimes it's just too painful. But today I decided to stop in, sit down, and not do my typical rush, rush, rush stuff.
The chapel (where the service was held) was dark and lonely. I walked over to the sanctuary which was light and open. As I sat down I heard someone talking and turned around to find a woman on her cell phone ... IN THE SANCTUARY. Not really the quiet I had in mind.
I opted to walk back over to the chapel to continue some quiet reflection. On my way I was stopped by someone who said, "We don't usually have people roaming in there. What you are doing?"
I was completely shocked. How about, "Welcome, I see you are interested in our church." I was so stunned I tried to explain that it was where I had my mother's memorial service, but I burst into tears and just walked out.
How bizarre that a simple difference in words - welcome vs. what are you doing - can alienate someone so fast. All I can say is that I hope the next visitor is treated with more respect and courtesy. Why not ask the woman on her phone to leave? Or at least talk somewhere people aren't trying to pray.
If you see someone you feel is suspicious (guess my business suit looked too alarming), of course you want to inquire about what they are doing. It's how you approach them that matters.