Late night at work last night. As we were closing there was a couple sitting in the cafe'. It was about fifteen minutes after we closed before they left, after me telling them three times we were closed. Man working on laptop. Talking on cell phone. Woman reading her US Weekly. well-Worn bible sitting ornamentally on the tabletop for all to see.
College-aged girl sitting on the table back in the kids department. She was a little kinder about leaving. She left alright. Left a stack of about twenty books, all of random genres, on the table to placed back in their respective positions throughout the store by Barnes and Noble employees. She'd been there all night. I came in at 2:00 in the afternoon and can't remember a time when she wasn't sitting there. Praying. Out loud. With a friend who stopped by to "disciple." And yes, well-worn Bible sitting on the table. She picked that up and put it where it belonged, by the way, at least literally and physically.
Antioch Community Church.
On a better, more guarded day, I would choose to let the church affiliation of said etiquette-offenders go unknown, taking the high road, loving my brothers and sisters and not being cynical or ironic or sarcastic. Today is not a better or more guarded day.
You ask how I know? No, Jimmy Seibert didn't stop by and confirm these people were from his church. They didn't wear shirts that displayed their church affiliation. I didn't ask them and they didn't tell me but, funny thing about it is that if you've lived in Waco long enough you know. You know what they look like (even though they all look different,) you know how they make you feel (although there is also great variety in that,) and you know how they talk.
But most of all you know what they say.
They say to a group of my closing staff, all of whom are either ambivalent or downright hostile to Christianity, that rules such as closing time doesn't matter to them. They say that Jesus' warnings against public displays of prayer aren't as important as their need to pray, together, fairly vocally, among a group of playing children. They say that as long as others are paid to clean up messes then messes can be made-- liberally.
I got home and read Myles' blog about Sojourners new "budgets are moral documents" campaign and probably overreacted a tad in my response. I was still angry at the Antiochers so I took it out at what I perceived as left-wing Christian (and yes, that's what it is) pretensiousness breaking into my night that had already been ruined by what I perceived as right-wing Christian pretensiousness.
God, why can't all Christians be just like me, think just like me, and act just like me? Please make that happen.