I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse. – Vito Corleone
Everybody has a price, right?
I don’t think mine’s that high… like honestly, I don’t think it’ll take much for me to sell my soul…I’m kidding. Mostly. I think.
I went to a Kinko’s FedEx (or is it FedEx Kinko’s?) to get some card stock prints of handouts for our Sunday liturgy.
The worker saw what was written on the handout and he asks, “Is this from Isaiah?”
“Deuteronomy, actually.” (It was the Shema Yisrael text).
“Oh yea, that’s right. It reads more like Deuteronomy. Is this for a church?”
“Where’s your church at?”
“It’s on Shadow Creek Pkwy! And we just started — like a month ago or so.”
“What kind of church? Like y’all Baptists or what?”
“Oooh. Episcopalian. You don’t hear much from the Episcopalians these days. Glad y’all still out there.”
My spider sense started tingling, alerting me that maybe this conversations gonna take a weird turn.
“I suppose you might be right,” I offered.
“Yea. The few Episcopalians I did know, they became non-denom. I mean basically all Christians are now non-denom, right? Like that’s where to go to learn and get fed and stuff.” Tingling intensifies.
“But, if they don’t go to non-denom churches,” he continued, “they just walk away from God. And I always wondered why they walked away from God. Some say, ‘God don’t make sense’ other said ‘Christian life is too hard’ and all that other nonsense. And I keep telling these folks, ‘just read the Bible and follow what it says. All of life’s answers are in the Bible! Just read it and do it! Ain’t nothing hard about that!’”
Spider sense raising the hair on my arms now.
“I think the problem is,” he goes on, “that we try to put too much of cultural understanding in the Bible. Like we get played by the world. And if we just stop and read the Bible, we wouldn’t be in the trouble that we are in today. But we don’t wanna do that. We’d rather listen to what the world says and ignore the clear instructions God laid out for us… in the Bible. So, man. I hope your church preaches the word. The. Word. And that y’all don’t get swayed or tempted by the world’s standards.”
Like I said, it was almost closing time for them on a Saturday evening — I did not have the mental capacity to engage in any sort of theological discussion and had I engaged; asked questions; responded to some of the eye-raising comments he made, I knew — I just knew — that it’ll devolve into some homophobic and exclusionary rhetoric.
So, I just kept my mouth shut and nodded.
“Yea man. It’s easy as long as we read the Bible. All the answers are there. Anyway, your prints are done, bro.”
“Hey, cool. How much it all come out to?”
“Don’t worry about it. On me.”
Did I instantly feel bad of only half-heartedly engaging him? No, not really. I mean… Maybe like a little…
Was I grateful to save some $30+ bucks on the prints? Absolutely.
Would I sit through any sort of conversation for free printing service at Kinko’s? Y.E.S.
On the way home, more than my aloofness in a conversation— I pondered about my price and how low it just may be.
Maybe so. But yo, Kinko’s is expensive.