My wife and I joined a small group. Last night was the second meeting. We left behind, in Texas, a great many friends who came to be friends via the small group we maintained for the better part of 12 years. Here, just as we have had trouble settling on a church, we have had difficulty coming to the point of joining any small group. If you add my cynicism born of The Red Pill, manifest in the time between initiating our prior small group and now, it makes the task all the more difficult. Then, considering my low tolerance for certain things and the confidence I have in pointing them out, it will be a challenge to say the least.
The sort of leaders of the group are a couple in retirement age. The man is a Vietnam vet and ex-military pilot as well as retired commercial pilot. His wife strikes me as a librarian, and I mean no value implication with that. My wife had pointed out that, last week, that wife was agitated at her husband all evening. Surprisingly I’d missed it. But not last night.
This woman openly derided her husband, criticizing him overtly when at the mention of some scheduled event, he stated a different date and time then she had recorded. He patiently told her he had just received another email with the corrected information. She was ticked off and told him “you need to tell me these things immediately”. Later, the reason behind this schedule controlling urge became more clear.
The husband started to add some scripture, at one point, that he felt was relevant to a certain point. The point was something about, when do you need to stop asking God for deliverance from something that is a problem in your life. The leader was using the story of David praying that a child not die, and the point he was making was David didn’t stop praying but that, once the child died, David accepted that and went on.
First the wife rolled her eyes when he mentioned what story he was about to read, saying “what does THAT have to do with anything?” She stared angrily and impatiently at him as he read. Then, so as to correct him, she explained that she believes we all need to just stop praying for things and accept things as they are.
At one point she corrected me too. One man was making the point, and quoting some preacher, that god “is not our buddy”. Oh….dancing close to home here fella I was thinking. I interjected that singing “I am a friend of God” made me uncomfortable. The woman had to tell me that Jesus calls us friend, quoting me sum scripchuh. Yea….I know. She was not happy with that whole line of inquiry.
Her apogee was when she wryly stated that her thorn in the flesh is her retired husband. Yuk yuk yuk.
Finally, comes time for prayer requests and much was revealed. The woman is on the board of the HOA in their neighborhood. She was over committed and thinking of quitting. The president of the association was begging her not to quit. She was torn mightily. “Its about continuity, its about difficulty getting a new person up to speed”, etc. he asked her an innocent question and her reply was again eye rolling and “there have been three emails since then”.
The thing is, women join HOAs expressly because they are controlling by nature. They crave the unbridled power and do not underestimate the empathy that the work load martyrdom generates. She was not really wresting with quitting. She was wrestling with the fact that it was not generating enough empathy.
The host family was sending subtle nonverbal clues that they needed to wrap up. Subtle, like a kid kept screaming, the man kept turning 180 degrees in his chair to look at the clock, like that. This women prattled on for 15 minutes explaining her dilemma about this decision to quit the board. Other women in the group then felt compelled to compete. They brought their own requests, and went on and on with each other about them. I thought if I had to attend women’s bible study I’d swallow The Judge.
If I’d have only asked fro prayer that I stay silent in the face of overt disrespect from a wife.
It ruined the evening. It made me wonder if the others have sat through that for the duration (years) of this groups existence. It made me wonder if I can stand it. It made me thankful for my wife who was also appalled by the woman’s behavior.