This is the inaugural post under the new category entitled “Stupid Church Stuff.” As you can imagine, as a pastor I’ve seen my share of really stupid church stuff. Some things just simply cannot be ignored.
Like sitting in staff meeting a couple days ago and hearing it slip out that someone had turned in a note during one of our Sunday services that simply read, “The pastor’s underwear is showing.”
“Excuse me?” I asked, not sure I even heard the comment correctly when it unwittingly spilled over one of my colleague’s lips.
“Well . . . yes, the note said your underwear was showing.” And with that everyone at the table laughed. Turns out most of them had already been chuckling about it for a day or so.
Further inquiry helped me to understand that the individual who passed along this brilliant observation did not sign his or her name. Of course, every pastor in America knows this is a common tactic for grouchy cowards. Typically, these dull people who really need to get a life in a bad way are ignored. The dirty little secret is that whenever anonymous notes come in like this they go straight into the trash can. Why waste time with someone’s concern when they are not man enough (or woman enough) to introduce themselves?
But then there are those comments just stupid enough to solicit snickers all around. Like me having my underwear showing on Sunday morning.
Which, of course, begs the question: What in the world is this person even talking about? And when I finally pressed this question the answer was absurdly hilarious. “Well, Matthew, your T-shirt was showing right at your open collar on your nice button-down shirt.”
Again: “Excuse me?”
“Well . . . yes . . . you know . . . your T-shirt was barely visible at your collar.”
“You mean, like every other man who wears a T-shirt under an open-collared shirt?”
Hmmm. Then someone piped up and suggested that for now on I ought to not wear a T-shirt and just allow majestic rings of chest hairs to pour out from under my dress shirt.
After wasting precious moments of a meeting designed to talk about timeless matters, we finally landed on this probability. This anonymous person is frustrated because I do not wear a tie (I do get these anonymous notes regularly as well). Perhaps this is the next level in this person’s effort to point out his or her frustration with my lack of a tie or suit or what have you. Again: Hmmm.
The great John Bunyan once said, “Some things are of that nature as to make One’s fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache.” I can’t help but laugh (though the chest hair thing is disgusting!). And yet, I feel grief within that with all of the majesty of so great a Savior before us, one is spending his or her worship hour thinking about, well, my underwear.
Someday, when we all get to Heaven and the Majestic King of Redemption asks us about our priorities I can’t wait to tell him about how I spent a few minutes talking and blogging about my T-shirt rather than determining how to further His Kingdom.
I wonder what Mr. (or Mrs.) Anonymous will say.
Emerson said: “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.”
Maybe you should get the variety color pack now that everyone will be studying your underwear.
It is hard to know what to say. Accept that those of us who work at churches are not surprised.
Oh, I can finally let my breath out – it was your t-shirt.