The Hurtful Stuff
Regarding the hurtful things said, we have to deal with that just like anybody else does. The best thing is to take it to the Lord. This is true in any land. We have to remember who we are in Christ, and remember that the truth will come out.
The Puzzling Stuff
Sometimes we hear misconceptions about ourselves or our church that make us scratch our heads. Usually my snarky replies remain unspoken.
"Is it true that you can't drink coffee in your church?" Um, no, thankfully.
"We heard that you aren´t allowed to celebrate Christmas." That house with the giant Christmas tree in the window, it's mine.
"Why can't women talk in your church?" It would be really hard for me to teach Sunday school without talking.
"Why are you against science?" I'm not, but my kids might have wished I were when they had to take chemistry and biology.
The Funny Stuff
Then there are the stories about us that are so bizarre, we can do nothing but laugh about them.
About a year ago, I was feeling really good about myself - I know, pride goeth before a fall - because a local teenage girl had told my daughter that I was really nice and pretty. Wow! A few days later one of our church teens told me that she had heard something about me. I couldn't wait to hear it. Someone else liked me perhaps? No. The Lord had a cure for that pride of mine. A rumor was going around our whole village and had spread to some other towns that I was killing cats. Apparently they thought I was putting poison out in the yard and enticing cats to come taste their doom. It was talked about at home, at school, and even in the grocery store. Who knows how this even started. Okay, it was a blow to my ego to know something so blatantly false, and strange, was being said about me. That first night brought tears of self-pity, but the Lord helped change those into tears of laughter. I joined my kids, our church teens, anybody who actually knows me in laughing about the silliness of it.
My favorite story about the church, though, happened years ago when the military base was still here. The church was trying to build but was being stonewalled from several places. Because of that, we couldn't afford windows in the building. Having no windows invited all kinds of speculation about what was happening inside, but one local village was convinced they knew the truth. The story went something like this: "Those strange people in the window-less church are evil. They dress in nothing but long underwear, dance around strange lines on the floor, and sacrifice hens." So there were some military folks in long undies under their clothes, and we did admittedly have an AWANA circle for the kids' game time. That said, none of us knows where the hen sacrifice part started. And why not roosters, too? This is one that still makes us laugh today.
People say stuff. We have to learn to take it to the Lord, grow some thicker skin, and sometimes just laugh about it.
|Patrick and Vicki Weimer, Iceland since 1999|