{Just Like Me: Being Introverted in the Church}

dylan 2If I could have demanded anything

for my shy and wary child,
would I have begged God

make him less cautious?

Would I have wasted
a wish, a prayer, even a thought
on that part of my personality that I hate

and have come to
tolerate.

Make him less afraid.

Make him less

like me: petrified, wooden, shaken, sick to my stomach
terrified.

Though I hate it about myself,

could I possibly hate this

in

my son?

How is this conceivable?
My baby, my flesh, my skin and bones
always crawling away from people

just like me.

I have learned, when the extroverted-overjoyed-inner-glowing-pastor says almost gleefully to
turn to our neighbor, I don’t immediately
run. I have learned.

Still, the bathroom is a cool, echoing, quiet and comforting place just then;
and I can hear
my heart exploding inside me.  Blood pumping, rushing to all extremities.
The fear rushes about me, like pixies dancing, mocking,
Silencing me.

When extroverted-overjoyed-inner- glowing-pastor says:

this is love

I think
I may puke, not because I want to puke
mind you. (What kind of fool would want to throw up in church?)

But.
seriously

when will church life be easier for introverts?  And how to tell my kid,
that forcing him to attend Church events is virtuous?

It’s for your own good.

How? I’m thinking.
How? He’s asking.

This isn’t faith, I know. This isn’t my religion.

What’s an introverted mom to do?

Teach him to run?

The answer lies somewhere in between.  Even
with programs bent on making you
fit

your circle shaped heart into their

square pegged hole of a program.

Still, love wins
when you risk.  And for us introverts, some days that’s

just showing up.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Cara Strickland says:

    This is so poignant and thought provoking, Melody. Thank you.

    Like

    1. thanks cara, it is difficult to see your children carry on with issues or struggles you have yourself but also things to be learned.

      Like

  2. Reblogged this on FairyBearConfessions and commented:
    Ok, I don’t often reblog things, but I read this yesterday and thought it added such a perfect complement to the Naughty Thoughts book review that I should put it here for people to find. The church issues raised in the book were important and fundamental, but I have to say that the culture of extroversion in the evangelical world was an extra dissonance for me – and probably the first and most immediately/urgently felt dissonance. I love my church friends, I just don’t enjoy seeing them at church – my personality feels assaulted by the format. Anyway. Melody Hanson is a lovely blogger.

    Like

  3. dorothygreco says:

    Thank you for your honesty and insight. I have also had to learn not to run. LOVE the photo at the top too.

    Like

  4. melody. this is my first time to your written space and – wow. i would just echo what cara said: poignant and provoking, two of my favorite descriptives.

    thank you for being you. i have loved seeing the world through your eyes, and now through your voice.

    much love,
    erika

    Like

  5. melody. this is my first time to your written space and – wow. i would just like to echo cara’s words: poignant and provoking, two of my favorite descriptives.

    i have loved seeing the world through your eyes….and now your voice.

    thank you for being just you.

    love,
    erika

    Like

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