Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Talks with strangers

In the course of this most unusual holiday I have met and talked to people I rarely see....and met new people who I knew of but had never met...

I am not wearing the collar for any of our excursions so casual conversation never gives anyone the idea that I am a priest. It's Iike being a teacher or a doctor....the conversation that follows that particular news is best avoided for the most part. On our journeys around these parts we have bumped into people we know but also enjoyed idle chat with complete strangers.

This week I have been given information I really would rather not have....involving other people of my acquaintance. Some of it may be untrue....and I am not going to find out. Some of it is certainly true and fits what I already knew.....the pieces of a jig saw that now make sense....

It would be easy to make enquiries but I'm not going to do that......sitting in judgement on colleagues is not my thing but it has made me uneasy....it has made me question my beliefs and my role in all of this.

It's become a constant companion as we travel around looking at old well loved eating and walking places....

I might at some stage confide in a close colleague but I may never say a word....

Before any of you jump to the wrong conclusions there is nothing criminal or even immoral in any of this...and children are not involved...no one is going to get hurt if I remain silent....

So off we go on another day out and I am trying not to get chatting to people if I can help it......so if it's you I meet along the path I'm not being standoffish...just in no hurry to make any other discoveries!

1 comment:

  1. I often wonder where the british reserve has gone?

    I remember those days fondly, now so many people want to share a bit of themselves, along with a bit of their and others lives. Sometimes welcome, other times gossip and hearsay.

    I can't remember others sharing so much in the Armed Forces, but we lived in a culture of privacy and concern for personal security. So, in some ways like an enclosed order, only mixing with our own.

    I can honestly say that until I joined my Parish, that everyone of our family and friends had some connection with the Armed Forces, so you shared on a basis of mutual trust and confidence. Basically what happened in the Army, stayed within the Army family.

    But it's refreshing to be in a community of Christians where trust is mutual on first meeting and where people are so open and friendly. I'm sure that it can be so in the wider community as well as we now have friends who are not members of our church or even Christians.

    It's more about mixing and matching with others and it really helps to understand other people in a different environment and context.

    Like you, I sometimes hear things that I wouldn't really have wanted to know, but I ensure that that relationship of confidentiality is maintained and only share things of Pastoral concern within our Ministry Team.

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