Tuesday, August 2, 2011

She just walked away

There is a young lady who has attended our church for some time, was even the church secretary for a while, and she did a great job of it. She hadn't been at church for a while, and we assumed she was going somewhere else, but wasn't sure. I considered her a friend, so I was wondering what was up. My sister commented on her facebook profile and said she had been missing her in church, so I commented likewise. She replied and thanked us, and said she had moved and was going to church closer her work. I replied and asked where she had moved to, and that we should have had a going away party. She didn't reply, so I went back a few days later to follow up, and she was gone - not just from my friends list, as I thought at first, but from facebook completely. I texted her a few times - nada.

I asked around on facebook, and no one knew anything. I messaged her best friend, who replied she had moved and was going elsewhere to church - uh, I knew that already, not very helpful. She also said this young lady doesn't text - at least that explained the no replies.

On Saturday, I decided to call the errant one. To be honest, it was a weird conversation. She seemed cool and evasive. She had moved and was going to church closer her job. (Yeah, I knew that already!) I don't do well with evasive tactics, so I asked where. She had moved to a small town very close to Salem, Ohio where our church is and where she had been living. How close? 7 miles. About 13 minutes. That is closer than I live to my church. I replied that I had assumed she moved far away.  I commented about her disappearing off the face of the earth - and facebook. Told her people are wondering what happened to her on there. She said she needs to finish her graduate work so will probably keep a low profile for a couple of years. The rest of the conversation was very stilted and awkward, she was trying to get off the phone, and I was taken aback. I ended with saying I wasn't trying to pry, but if I quit church and no one followed up, I'd feel badly.

I' still left with questions. Why did she leave so abruptly, and why does she need to cut off all of her friends? And why is the only person who she seems to be in contact with, the one person who isn't the best influence on her spiritually?

What are we to do when someone quits church abruptly? Should we call, email? If I quit, I'd feel badly if no one missed me enough to check up on me, yet by the cool reception I got from someone I thought was a friend, it evidently wasn't appreciated that I did just that.

The church is supposed to be a family - brothers and sisters and all that - though I'd like to trade in a lot of mine - so when someone walks away, shouldn't we care? Shouldn't we follow up? And to be blunt - if the one who walks away is truly a Christian, should their response be cool and stilted?


Kimmy said...

Maybe something happened at church that you don't know of? Something that hurt or upset her? Or maybe she's going through something really personal and it's awkward to talk about. Either way, good on you for following up and checking on her! I wouldn't take it personally how she responded. We have no idea what is going on in her life. Pray for her, I'm guessing she could use it.

stanw said...

It is often a big question when someone does this with no real explanation. A few people I have known have done that and except for one, I eventually found out even though it took a long time. Unfortunately the reasons and what they are up to now was very unlike what I thought their lives really stood for. I pray they will find the way back to the Lord. The world can be so alluring. Agree, pray for her is the best thing to do.