Friday Five: Guilty Pleasures

3dogmom, over at the RevGals blog offers this Friday Five:
It happened again this week. In a social setting, during a conversation with people that included some I had just met, I made a reference to the church I serve. “Oh!” one of the new acquaintances exclaimed, “I shouldn’t have said hell!” Sigh. This kind of projection can be so tiring, as can the general need to be mindful of how our words and actions are perceived as appropriate (or not). In light of that, I relish moments to myself when I can shed all such perceptions and projections and just be. Occasionally this involves what might be known as a guilty pleasure.
For this week’s Friday Five, share with us five “perception be damned!” pleasures in which you indulge. We promise we won’t judge, or tell. What happens at RevGals stays at RevGals.
My responses below are less about "guilty pleasures" and more about the reality of my life as an ordinary human being who is also an ordained person, an Episcopal priest.
1. In the community I lived in when I was first ordained, when people encountered me wearing my clergy collar, I was often mistaken for a nun. Really? Apparently some people could not wrap their heads around the idea that a woman could be a priest, a member of the clergy.
2. One of my daughter's high school teachers use to call me a "woman of the cloth." It definitely influenced how she saw my daughter and how she expected my daughter to behave. She and I did not see eye to eye on some of those "expectations."
3. I too have had people apologize for using certain words in front of me. Sometimes I respond by saying, "I've been known to say that, and worse, from time to time in my life." I just don't think that God is overly concerned with those under the breath expressive words. 
4. Yoga. Some people have considered yoga classes to be unChristian. Or they have expressed to me a desire to find a "Christian" yoga class. I get this, but it's a little bit of a misunderstanding of yoga. 
5. Meditation. Likewise, some people have misunderstood meditation and wondered about the practice being unChristian. This is particularly so if one practices a Buddhist style of meditation. Tich Nhat Hahn's book "Living Buddha Living Christ" helped me with this concern. 


altar ego said…
Yoga! A member of my family refuses to consider it because of its association with another tradition. Makes me want to pull my hair out. I think that when "identifiably Christian" individuals, like clergy, participate, it can help dispel the misperception. One of these days I intend to learn yoga myself!

Popular posts from this blog

Luke: A Mary Oliver Poem

A Funeral Sermon: Healed by Love

The Bleeding-heart: a poem by Mary Oliver