I haven’t posted a full-on rant in awhile. So yeah, warning: this is a full-on rant. I know parts of this will echo stuff Amanda has said before, and that’s cool with me. It’s a message that needs to be reiterated as many times and in as many ways as possible. Here goes.
I said before that I wasn’t going to post anything about work. Well, I’m bending that rule for the moment, because although this happened at work, the point I’m trying to make is so much bigger than work.
The restaurant where I work has a policy that in the case of large groups, all party members have to be present before they can be seated. As I’ve learned throughout my first week of work, sometimes people have issues with this policy, especially in cases where say…all but 2 are there. Some of them want to see the manager. They see him, dump all their policy frustrations on him, either stay or storm out, end of story.
Today, we had some people come in claiming to be part of a church group (I don’t know the church name) of 55 people that were on their way. They kept checking in with us from time to time, saying more had come. And every time, one of the hostesses would go out and count them all, only to find that not everyone was present yet. So they still had to wait. I don’t remember exactly how it happened or who of the hostesses was involved, but at one point, two of the men from this church group got very angry as the hostess was trying to refer back to the policy. They demanded to see the manager, and they were livid. Our poor manager kept trying to explain the policy and its necessity, but they weren’t hearing it. They argued with him and chewed him out for what must have been at least 15 minutes. I could tell our manager was wounded by their callousness. They said it didn’t make sense and demanded to know who his boss was, and all that. I’m sure you could hear the arguing all the way across the restaurant.
It culminated in the men saying they were taking their business elsewhere. The church group was leaving the waiting area as I was entering it to seat another party, and one of the men who had been arguing passed by me. His remark was, “You all just lost a big tip.” It was all I could do not to–smack him yes, haha, but even moreso reply, “And if you are claiming to follow the example of Jesus Christ, sir, I’m afraid you just lost something far more valuable.” After they left, I commented to one of my fellow hostesses that you would think a church group would be nicer than that. She retorted, “Church groups on Sundays are the worst of all! They’re just nasty.”
Tonight, I openly admit, I was ashamed to be a Christian. Not ashamed of Christ, but ashamed that such people claim to follow the same Lord I follow. And I am so scared that attitudes such as that are what people have come to expect of Christians.
When we choose to follow Christ, it’s a continual choice. Every second, every minute, every hour, every day. It is not a convenient option that we can pull out Sunday mornings and stash when we’re hungry or tired or things don’t go our way. Granted, none of us are above forgetting a Christlike attitude when it doesn’t “fit the moment.” For sure not me. And I realize that those church people need the conviction of God to fall on their hearts much more than they need my judgement, which is why I’m gonna pray for them. But tonight was a poignant reminder of just how damaging our attitudes can be. If we loved God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and loved our neighbors as ourselves, I bet we could change the lens through which people view Christianity in general. Just plain human love is revolutionary; God’s love is eternally revolutionary.
I say it’s time for a revolution.
The next time you find yourself getting irritated at someone, stop and think. Banish all thoughts of “But I wouldn’t act this way/do that/whatever” out of your mind. Instead think, “If I were in this person’s position, how would I want someone to treat me?” The answer may not be easy to swallow, but I guarantee you’ll be on the path to repairing damage done by someone else.
As my friend Max sometimes says, “Viva la revolution.”