Saturday, November 12, 2011

Close encounter of the Christian type

If I wrote about every overtly Christian encounter I have, there would be no other posts on this blog. Encounters happen everyday in one form or another. It’s the overt encounters that get under my skin.

I had breakfast with my boss yesterday. He ran out at the end of the meal to catch a meeting. I stayed behind to enjoy a last cup of coffee. While sitting alone with my thoughts, two men sat down at a table on my right. They both greeted me and then started talking to me like I was a long lost friend. The conversation turned towards work. One of the men was an out of work quality inspector and could use help finding a job. I agree to give him my business card and help him get in touch with my company’s HR department. It’s a small good deed and something I am willing to do for anybody.

He agrees to follow me to my truck so I can give him my business card. While I’m fishing it out of my briefcase he starts in with his Christian rant.

“I never would have survived this period of unemployment without my church.”

I smile and make non-committal noises.

“They prayed over me. I’m sure it lead me to you.”

I get this bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.

“Would you mind if we prayed here now?”

My response was typical for these types of situations. “I would rather not.”

He responds as if I hurt him, “Why? I just want to thank Jesus for bringing us together and presenting this opportunity.”

I tell him it would be best if he prayed on his own. He gets tears in his eyes, “But I just want to share my joy.”

Oh boy… I’m in a Denny’s parking lot with a 6’4” man tearing up over his faith. Why does this happen to me?

Another man walks by. He asks, “Is something wrong here?”

The man seeking a job explains what is going on. The new guy offers to pray with him. I take the opportunity to jump in my truck and leave as quietly as possible. Two grown men are standing in a parking lot with their right hands on each other’s shoulders. Both are deep in a public prayer. I don’t get it. I’m in no mood for a debate and my atheism is none of their business. Why is it assumed that we are all Christians?


David said...

I am glad that such public outbursts of one's religiousity are uncommon here in Australia. That is not to say we don't have self righteous, self proclaimed examples of upstanding godly morality that trivialise me, dismiss me because I'm devoid of faith and generally treat me like crap. Unfortunately I have to deal with one in particular all day at work.

Dromedary Hump said...

I'd actually pay to have that happen to me...just once. Alas, New Hampshire is not California.

We have nuts, but they don't grow as big, or in bunches like they do in CA.