Sunday Welcome

On Sundays the people of St Jude’s are very, very friendly. They chat. Open faced. All those expressions associated with acceptance, raised eyebrows, big grins, relaxed body language.\r\n\r\nThe problem is this.\r\n\r\nWhen Jack, who has been coming on Sundays, wanders into the church for a midweek meeting, he is met by a strange and what he believes is an uncharacteristic coolness (compared to the church he knows on Sunday). The same people that grinned and relaxed with him on Sunday just glanced over in his direction, and carried on in their own conversation.\r\n\r\nIn fact, the group of five or six people talking seemed to be huddled together. They hadn’t linked arms or anything like that. They just seemed to be closer than usual. On more careful inspection it was clear that although they were perhaps standing marginally closer physically they were remarkably closer socially. It was something about the focus on their faces. Jack had seen it on faces in the canteen at work. There was an aura that said, “Not you. Not now.”\r\n\r\nIt was clear to Jack that this was another group altogether. Same people, different group. Jack did what most slightly self concious outsiders do in church, the ones that don’t have the balls to just walk out in case they upset someone, as if …\r\n\r\nJack started to read notices, pick up books on the book stall, study Sunday School pictures on the wall, examine the Lady Chapel, and gradually drift towards the door.\r\n\r\nHe was unnecessarily self concious. No-one noticed.\r\n\r\nHe thought, “where was that Sunday Welcome?”\r\n\r\nand\r\n\r\n”What was that Sunday Welcome?”

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