Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kindness in the parking lot

Today we had, what is known in the LDS faith as, stake conference. In this meeting about 8 - 10 congregations get together, in a larger building for a meeting. The parking lot wasn't big enough to handle the traffic, so we had an overflow location set up.

I was on parking assignment.

Part of the available parking was in a strip mall parking lot. One proprieter was anxious about there being space for his customers. I ended up, at the end, just protecting those spaces. Whew, that was fun, asking people not to park in a perfectly good parking spot.

Just a couple of observations...

As Christians, shouldn't the parking spaces fill up farthest to closest? After all, the ones that arrive earlier have more time to hoof it across the parking lot. I guess though, the reverse would be true for seats in the meeting. The early risers would get the close padded chairs while the ones coming late should get the hard metal chairs in the back (less of a disturbance).

I don't think Jesus would require the closest parking spot be reserved for him. However, why is it that the local leadership have this expectation? Maybe some of us are just a little more equal. :)

Those good, kind people you meet at church, the ones that have peace - they're good and kind when the parking spaces get scarce. The folks who don't have that peace, they get anxious and short with you when faced with the prospect of walking a couple extra yards.

Yep - congregational parking, when there's not enough space, that's the test. Wow, can you imagine what things could be like if there were ever a shortage of stuff that really mattered?

Note: sign me up for parking duty anytime. I was able to miss the first half of the meeting because I was guarding the strip mall parking lot. Bonus. :)

How did you come to know Him #2

Last week a colleague of mine scheduled sometime for us to talk. I thought it was for her to see how I'm doing - I've had a difficult time recently. Her purpose was to let me know how she's doing. For sure, she will need to have several of her neck vertebrae fuzed together and it's probable that she may have MS.

As part of the conversation, I asked how she was doing - emotionally. Her response included a reference to faith. I took that as an opportunity to ask how she came to know him. Several themes from her response:

She's always known God has been there and has been shaping her.

I didn't sense any sort of bitterness or blaming.

She's recently nurtured a better relationship with a local congregation and believes this will be important in helping her get through this experience.

I didn't have paper to take notes. I think next time I'll include in my question a request to take notes so I can capture better what I hear.