What I want to know is, what did I ever do to tick off that Chinese person, and why did s/he curse me?
I had played hooky from Sunday School for two successive Sundays, so I had to guess at where we were in the schedule. The new guy was subbing in his Gospel Doctrine class, and he was teaching the Jonah lesson, so I knew that if I studied that one, I had a 50% chance of being right.
For my non-LDS friends: our curriculum is correlated. Two Sundays a year are devoted to the Sunday sessions of General Conference. Two more are dedicated to our local stake conferences. Which leaves 48 lessons to cover the lesson material. And we have a four-year cycle: first year for the Old Testament and the Pearl of Great Price; second for the New Testament, third for the Book of Mormon, and fourth for the Doctrine and Covenants. This year we are neck-deep in the wranglings of the children of Israel.
It is pretty darn cool to come up for air in the middle of a study session and realize that all [or most of] the other LDS grownups throughout the world are thinking about Ruth that week, or Noah, or Isaiah. The schedules may vary by a week or so, depending on the timing of our stake conferences, but we can count on the fact that on the first Sunday of this year, we will all be “In the beginning...”, and that we will all bat clean-up with Malachi.
So yesterday I picked Lesson 33, and I read the assigned chapters in Jonah and Micah; the related enrichment materials in a book written by Daniel Rona, who is Jewish and LDS; and the enrichment material online at Meridian. I also rediscovered my hand-written notes in the margins of my Bible, pertaining to some in-depth study I did a few years ago when I was in counseling after a family tragedy. I had forgotten that the Book of Jonah is a chiasm, with the central verse being Jonah 2:8. My further notes on this, on a blank page in the front of my Bible, led me to ponder the nature and the necessity of forgiveness in my own life.
I felt really prepared to worship when I went to church, and I enjoyed the discussion in our Gospel Doctrine class.
Even though everybody else was on Lesson 34, and hobnobbing with Hosea.
It is a good thing that forgiveness was uppermost in my mind when I went to the singles potluck and break-the-fast, because one of the first people to greet me was Brother Abacus. Who got my name wrong. And then patted me on the shoulder in passing. [There are so many reasons why this was incendiary; this is not the place to discuss them.]
I walked down the hall to wash my hands, and then I invited him outside for a little talk. And by the grace of Heaven, I tempered justice with mercy. I told him, quietly and politely, that just because I had forgiven him for the way he treated me when we were dating, that did not mean we were friends. Do. Not. Touch. Me. Again. At which point he (A) looked very surprised and (B) gave me the apology he should have given me four years ago.
So, he is forgiven (again), and I am going to have to rip out all the knitting I did last night, because angry knitting is not pretty knitting.
Forgiveness means that you do not continue to beat somebody about the head and shoulders for their mistakes. It means that you are civil to them, should you meet them again. It does not require that you allow them to trespass upon your boundaries.
I called Brother Sushi when I got home, and he said that my behavior, as described to him, seemed perfectly reasonable and appropriate. (I was second-guessing myself at that point.)
Today is likely to be a busy one. The pool has reopened, and I am looking forward to a nice long sploosh in it. I have a date with Ben and Jerry this morning, to tackle Mount Washmore. And I have a lunch date with Firstborn and 1BDH and Messrs. Smith and Wesson. I have not shot off anything more deadly than my mouth in 40 years, so this should be interesting. I do remember the first two commandments: do not point at anything I do not intend to hit, and always assume that it is loaded.
Well, it certainly seems to be a weekend for consistency.
- Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!