Sunday, November 10, 2013

Regretting

I don't know.

Today I had an experience which I would describe as a fail.  I was late to church, and as I was walking up the stairs, a man who looked homeless asked what kind of church it was.  So I said Mormon.  So he said the church didn't look Mormon.  So I said well it's old.  Old Mormon churches look different.  So then I smiled at him.  So then he smiled at me.  And we paused.  And I wondered right then if I should invite him to come inside.  You know.  Welcome him.

But I didn't.

And I think I should have.  Not because I have any interest in proselytizing.  I don't.  A missionary I am not.

But it would have been a human gesture--one that I believe in.  So why didn't I say, "You can come inside if you want to"?   I don't think he would have been offended by the offer like some people might be.

So why didn't I?

Did his appearance make me nervous somehow?  Me, the person who always says appearances don't matter?  Or did I wonder what he would do with his backpack and full-sized rake if he came inside?  Or did I worry he would feel awkward in the chapel or that other people would feel awkward (the answer to the latter is no--my ward embraces the awkward).

I wish I had been generous enough to let him say no for himself.  Or yes.

3 comments:

radagast said...

You've such a good heart, Ann Cannon. Who else would still be second-guessing herself?

Megan said...

You talked to him and you smiled at him---both such human gestures. You were kind.

I like old Mormon chapels, for the record. And I like wards that embrace the awkward.

Louise Plummer said...

Oh Ann, you make me happy. I broke into laughter when I hit "the full sized rake." I think you can be excused for confusion.