I’m one of those people that can get excited in a conversation about just about anything. As long as I can make a connection to something in the story, in the flow of the narrative, I can be involved and if not join in, per se, at least be an active listener. Yes, sometimes I don’t have the energy to keep up and sometimes I get lost or frustrated with the direction that the story is taking. Those are not my best moments.
And then sometimes, conversation takes a turn. It doesn’t really matter where exactly, but it has something to do with either something I have taught or experienced in person. Someone made a passing comment yesterday about not knowing how HIV/AIDS is transmitted. I jumped. I barked. I’ve taught it, I’ve been with people who deal with it daily, and I know just how dangerous of a stigma it is. And it was not the person who made the comment’s fault that they didn’t know it. And I was like, no, we know exactly how it is transmitted, and there are six ways, and it is the kind of comment like that that continues to contribute to the stigma.
Or I heard recently one of the refrains of conversation that people who are nominally Christian use to excuse themselves and put themselves above others. Funny, my first thought was that, really it was more about God’s grace than our action, but my response was not made in grace to the initial comment. My excuse is that the refrain is too dangerous and not our belief, but it is the belief of those who hold it and it gives them comfort.
Not that comfort is really a good thing. We’d all be better off if we weren’t so comfortable all the time. See, now my adrenaline is pumping… and I’m not really talking about anything specific.
You want to get my blood pumping, jump to the conclusion that I should be ordained a deacon. It offends me when that is the question that is asked first after I have related my call story. Partly, because the majority of deacons that are ordained are women (no offense Joe or Andy) and so I feel that the people who ask are a group of old establishment who assume that since my anatomy is a certain way, that I would be better suited for a place behind the scenes, never leading over anyone. I might as well put my hair in pigtails.
Perhaps I overreact. Perhaps my narrative is one that they have heard from others who were called to be ordained as deacons. But often, I feel that I am being placed in a box for convenience.
So if you really want to get my blood pumping, if you really want to make my adrenaline race, put me in a box, stereotype me, assume that you know what I am thinking and that you know what my experiences have been. You’ll be guaranteed to get a lively response.