We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature--trees, flowers, grass--grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...We need silence to be able to touch souls. --Mother Teresa

Monday, May 3, 2010

Soapbox 101

Issues.  I have issues.  Lots and lots of issues. 

This comes as no surprise to anyone who is related to me. 

So we're in church on Sunday morning.  It's a beautiful morning.  Church was a little warm, but nothing that required me to remove my denim jacket covering my ever increasing muffin top.  Everybody go 'whew'.

Smack. Smack.  Whisper.  Rustle.  Smack. 

Really.  Seriously. 


Yep.  Gum in church.  Really.  You know.  I do not claim to have had perfectly well behaved children in church.  We made our fair share of trips down the isle and out the door for some 'conversation' on the front steps.  You know the kind of conversation I'm talking about--the kind that involves the mom talking close to the ear while holding tightly to the arm of the child.  Spitting may be involved.  We have finally gotten them to stop laying bets on long the homily will last.  Oh wait.  That was the parents. 


Gum in church.  This is quite possibly my biggest church pet peeve.  I am sure that over the years people have blogged about my childrens' church clothing.  Oh well.  They were there and they participated.  Or else.  And by participate I don't mean sing.  I mean stand up sit down stand up sit down.  Turn to the right page in the missalette and follow along.  Stand up sit down. The Dad and I placed ourselves accordingly.  Child Adult Child Adult Child.  Sometimes we still have to sit that way.  I refused to fight over what they wore because they were going to church willingly.  But they were NOT allowed to have gum.  I am not telling you they didn't ever have it but I tried my level best.

And not just gum in church.  Gum that is being chewed like cows chew cud.  I mean really.  Yesterdays incident involved a little girl who is 6 or 7.  Who should know better.  Don't you hate that phrase?  And I do think that she knows better.  It took everything I had not to turn around and offer her a kleenex for the gum.  It was loud.  Loud enough to be heard over the guitar playing cantor.  Loud enough to be heard over the feedback from a strangely placed microphone.  Loud enough to be heard over the stand up sit down.  Loud. 

And I'll be danged if I didn't look up and see a grown man chomping away on his gum.  Really? 

Let's be clear on my expectations....I like gum.  I like double mint gum.  I like spearmint gum.  I enjoyed a piece of gum tonight while at a meeting.  I passed the package around suggesting that several people take some gum in order to keep their mouths busy.  Gum has its place. 

There is no place in church for gum. 

Today when I saw her in the hall, I almost mentioned the no gum in church rule.  I stopped myself today.  Tomorrow, I might not have such restraint. 

Soapbox 101.  Just sayin'.


Mrs. E said...

Yep. It's the little things that have us running and screaming into the streets!

Mary said...

That is one of my biggest peeves, too. When I see people chewing gum during Mass, I can hear Sister saying, "Don't put anything in your mouth 1 hour before Mass (although now it's 1 hour before Communion)...the body of Christ is going to rest on that tongue." Guess they don't teach that anymore, huh? And, I'm also having to restrain myself from saying something to the person who is chewing gum!

Jewel said...

I can understand your irritation completely! BUT what about "clip...clip...clip,clip.." People clipping their nails in church? Oh.my.word. That is definitely my big pet peeve in church! Wow.
But, back to the gum-chewing....when we had the youth class, I would hold out a small basket into which they would deposit their gum before class started. :-) I believe several of those young people actually stopped chewing gum in church. :-)
Oh, and now that you have me going on this topic...:-)....how about bridesmaids and groomsmen chewing gum during the wedding. I've even seen the bride and groom chewing gum! Where are their parents?!?!?! LOL
Okay, I'm done. :-)
Love your blog!

Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel. -Proverbs 11: 17