So, I spent the last few days at a Church Planting Summit that was focused on Life Coaching. Basically we spent the whole 3 days talking about and practicing the art of Life Coaching, and received some updates from Church of Christ church plants. It was a good time; really learned the value of listening… but that is for another time.
On the first night, Steve (my Sr. Pastor) introduced me to another pastor who was there who has connections to our church. The thing is that I think I’ve met this pastor a few times. So as he shook my hand he looked at me with a look of reminiscence and said…
Now, I don’t know why, but when I meet people like this I sometimes slip into a “I-will-just-respond-how-I-think-you-want-me-to-respond” kind of mode. It’s like I decide to just walk to the other side of the room to watch from a distance while I let my sense of social expectations handle the interaction. Sometimes my sense of social expectations is an idiot.
So as he shook my hand he looked at me with a look of reminiscence and said, “yeah, I think we met at Steve’s funeral”. For some reason I thought he was making some sort of comment about Steve (my pastor) who introduced us and I let out a single “ha”, like I was acknowledging his playful, subtle shot at my pastor. As soon as my single “ha” left my lungs I realized “Oh crap… he was referring to Steve Rehn, a guy from our church who tragically died in Africa a few months ago.” There is NOTHING funny about what he said, yet I just laughed at it. Shoot.
I tried instantly to look serious, as if the single “ha” thing never happened and replied with a “yes, I think so”. I don’t remember meeting at that funeral. Meanwhile the other me stood a few feet off slowly clapping…
I stood there for a few more minutes with them as they talked, nodding with agreement whenever they said something that I could agree with. They obviously were being careful not to direct too much conversation in my direction… and rightly so. I’m a moron. Who single “ha’s” at the mention of a funeral?
So to this pastor, and anyone else who has had to put up with this kind of crap from me: I’m sorry. Maybe I’ll do better the next time we’re introduced.