So one thing that happened during all those dark winter weeks that I wasn't blogging was this:
I came back home mid-morning on a day when Fabienne, my Hungarian gal, was here cleaning my house. I'd been out when she arrived, so she was going about her business when I came in. We met in the kitchen and had a brief catch-up. How are you, how are the kids, etc.
It had been a tough couple of weeks, she said. Her boys had colds. And, she said, "The worst was that I had the flu, but it was because I was disobedient to God."
Now, Reader, setting aside for a moment the urgent theological/doctrinal issues invoked, and asking only as a point of good manners, when someone dangles something like that in front of you, are you or are you not on firm ground in responding, "WHAT DID YOU DO?"
I mean, surely one doesn't bring up her own disobedience to God unless she wants to do more than lightly touch upon it?
I already knew Fabienne to be a very, very sincere believer and a devout practitioner of her brand of Christianity. She is part of an evangelical community up the road a bit, and she works many volunteer hours manning the prayer room at her church, like an on-call prayer partner for walk-ins. She didn't get a Christmas tree this year because she has been studying these things and has become convinced that it's if not actually idolatrous, then a Christmas tree is definitely a distraction from the main event. So, okay, here we have very serious, very devout Fabienne. In no way did I want to say, "What in the sweet world are you talking about?"
I mean, Jesus wept!
Like, for real, he did.
But back to etiquette.
The first thing I said was, "So God made you sick?" It came out as more of a pointed question, but I meant it as just a request for clarification. Like, who the what now? She half-quoted from scripture but it went by me because it seemed fearfully out of context. I tried to look comprehending. And then I said, "Oh, well, that's why I got a flu shot." Which I just blurted out. And then talk turned to other things. But I also didn't want to shut her down because, I dunno, every word in her declaration could mean something different to her than it does to me, and I always want to leave these avenues open for future exploration. If that makes any sense.
So that was a social moment that happened. In the Choose Your Own Adventure version of this scene, what conversational choices would you have made? I am sure my sister would have whipped a preachable moment out of her back pocket and it would have amazing.
I, though, am still curious about this disobedience.