Pastoral Perspectives

Eavesdropping

Tina turns to the person seated on her right and stretches out her hand for a handshake.

Tina: Hi, are you new here?

Chris: Not really, I’ve been coming for almost 6 months now.

Tina: Oh dear, I’m so sorry.

Chris: (laughs) No worries, it’s alright.

Tina: How do you find the worship service here?

Chris: Hmm, I like the singing — the songs are theologically sound, but I wish that people would sing louder. I also like the way you all preach through a certain book of the Bible.

Tina: I’m glad you like it here. I guess you haven’t gotten to know too many people. Would you like to visit my small group?

Chris: Is that what you call the DG? Sometimes I hear it being mentioned at the pulpit.

Tina: Yes, yes!

Morris walks towards someone seated at a table in the Event Hall.

Morris: Hello, I’m Morris.

Stranger (smiles but gives no response)

Morris (feeling a little awkward): Hi, I’m Morris. And you are?

Stranger (not smiling this time)

Morris: Are you alright?

Stranger (nods his head)

Morris: Okay, I’m going to give you some space (takes his leave) but I really hope to get to know you a bit more the next time I see you (smiles).

Suzy: Are you guys watching “Fantastic Beasts” this weekend?

James: Weekend very expensive. Why not watch on Monday since we are on holiday now?

Suzy: Aiya, but my school is still conducting extra lessons on Monday.

John: What about Wednesday afternoon?

Suzy: Wednesday is good.

James: Okay, set!

Mark: I’m really stressed out by my ‘A’ level exams. I’ve been pretty discouraged because the papers have been really bad so far.

Sue: How bad is bad?

Mark: Well, I didn’t manage to finish my GP comprehension paper and I have a feeling my essay is a bit out of point also. And then I made so many careless mistakes in my math paper. I realised it only after discussing the answers with my friends. Really want to kick myself.

Sue:  Oh dear. You must be feeling so sian.

Mark: Yeah. I really have no mood to study for the rest of my papers.

Sue: But… what’s done is done, and there’s nothing you can do about it anymore… Remember that God is in control no matter what happens, so just do your best and leave the rest to him, yeah?

Mark: Okay, I’ll try.

Sue: Can I pray for you?

Stanley: So how did you find the sermon?

Tom: Aiyo, he’s so long winded and all over the place. I lost him at the second slide.

Stanley: Yar lor!

Rachel: I thought it was helpful to hear how we can honour our parents leh. My parents have been ill for some time and it has been difficult to care for them. It’s good to know that I am honouring them when I take care of them.

Tom: Now that you mention it… I’m guilty of ignoring my parents. Although we stay under the same roof, I try to avoid them because I find them SO naggy even though I’m already an adult. But maybe I can do better in honouring them.

Angela: Eh, did you hear that Lily and Walter are having issues in their relationship?

Bernard: Ya, I heard. I’m not surprised lah. He can be quite controlling and crazy.

Angela: Ya lor, she’s quite long suffering.

Bernard: Eh, aren’t you in their DG? So what are the details of the tiff?

Angela: I’m not supposed to tell, but let’s just say it’s something to do with money and children.

I have created the above dialogues to play out the different kinds of conversations that I envisage would take place in our church community. The names are fictitious. The dialogues may be caricatures and often the conversations are more complex, but I hope they will still serve the purpose of highlighting to you what transpires between worshippers when they gather together. Which of those conversations do you think would edify the body of Christ? If you were in their shoes, which of those conversations would bring joy to your heart and peace to your soul when you walk away from them?

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (Proverbs 18:21). Do our tongues bring death or life? Do our lips utter words that build up or tear down? Do we often say many words that amount to nothing? Or do we speak a timely word that will make a difference in the lives of our hearers?


Rev Lee Kien Seng

November 18, 2018