I went to dinner with a few friends from work. I generally like the people I work with but this dinner made me think twice.
The conversation began continued, and ended with malicious gossip. Not just stupid he-said, she-said, but hateful degrading comments and names. Things that were said were probably not far from the truth, and admittedly I’ve probably thought the same things in my mind, but I had never heard them voices aloud. I never allowed those thoughts to actually take root in my mind to the point where I see a tangle of mistakes and sins instead of a human being.
For these girls, a person is their past. When someone sleeps with someone else, or in this case, many “someone elses”, that person is dehumanized and labeled according to the act. If someone was known for being oblivious, they jump on it like vicious cats on fresh kill. The conversation was so angry, mean and dead, I felt awkward and strangely younger than them. All too conscious of my differences, I never felt so out of place.
I did have a choice to speak up but I sunk down and stayed out of it. I was cowardly I thought of what they might say about me after I left the table. Besides, they would never understand what it is to be freed by Jesus unless they are. I never desired their friendship but I see them every day. After leaving, I thought about the confession prayer that Catholics say every Sunday. “I confess to almighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault…in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and what I have failed to do…”
This is a very insignificant story, but it is indicative of the very small choices we make every day to do the right thing. I wish I would have said something. I’m not sure what, but in failing this, I’ve realized what a difference it could make. What if I had just acted surprised that they were talking like that? That would have been a clue right away that the sentiment wasn’t shared. I hope that I can make myself stand out just a bit more with courage.
Have you stood up in courage for the Lord lately? Have you failed in this area? I’d love to hear your story!