Tuesday, May 11, 2010


She was the church gossip. You know the kind—she’s usually on the church staff, or married to the youth pastor or sound guy. She doesn’t actually gossip, but she shares “prayer requests”.

“Please pray for Kathy. You know her husband is having an affair.” “Join me in praying for the Johnson family. Their kids are out of control.” People called her “sensitive” to the needs of others. Oh brother! Karin was the Queen of Gossiptown!

The busybody was quick to pigeonhole people. She made swift and ugly assumptions about innocent parishioners. She’d overhear a portion of a sentence, or a snippet of conversation and she’d identify in the speaker the weakest of character traits, and focus on it and it alone.

Karin told me I was a “control freak” because I expressed a simple opinion. She characterized church attendees as “weak”, “sluts”, or “home wreckers”. Very often she had only the smallest sliver of a fact or rumor on which to build her opinions.

When Karin moved to another state, a friend of mine called her “dog poop on the shoes of our town”. It was time to wipe her memory from the soles of our feet. Her gossip literally ruined lives.

I recently received a Facebook friend request from Karin. The social networking site has linked people that might never have reason or opportunity to connect otherwise. Last week she posted as her status update something that caught my eye. “You cannot judge a tree or a person by only one season. Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.”

It has been several years since I spent any real time with Karin. I’m going to take her advice. I am choosing to not judge her by what might have been a season of gossip. Perhaps she’s trying to do better. She may, in fact, be working on her propensity to make rash judgments and assumptions.

Here’s to new seasons! Here’s to new joy!

No comments:

Post a Comment