[UPDATE 8/22/06:Â I saw the lady again a few weeks later, and nothing has aired on Fox or YouTube yet, so I assume I was just paranoid.]
So yesterday I was standing outside of my church after services when this old woman walks up to me and asks, “Can you tell me again what the Bible story was in Church? I really love that story, but I can’t quite remember what it was about.” Very peculiar. She loved it, but couldn’t remember what it was? Perhaps she was senile. But I hadn’t even seen her at the service, and she looked like a tourist: she was wearing a ridiculous baseball cap and these huge sunglasses.
“I don’t know,” I said but she repeated her question anyway.
“I really don’t know,” I said honestly, “I wasn’t paying attention.”
My wife and mother were standing nearby talking, and I turned to them
and asked them if they knew what Bible story was mentioned. My wife
laughed and said something about Solomon but the woman had already
moved on. I saw her walk into the church building and ask the same
question to another woman. This other woman said, “Oh gracious! Now
that you’ve asked me it’s slipped my mind!”
I’ve been thinking about this encounter all day. Where did this woman come from and why would she walk around asking this question? Our church services are printed in full every week, months in advance. If she really wanted to know what was read in the service, she could easily find out for herself. Thus, my suspicion is that she was part of an experiment, or an expose. She was probably carrying a hidden camera in those huge glasses and goofy hat, and she was trying to “expose” church-goers as inattentive listeners, as posers, as frauds. Surely anyone who had just sat through a church service could remember what was said in that church service? Well, obviously not.
But I wonder now, if she really was undercover, who was the more honest party? Her, in her duplicitousness trying to ridicule us church-goers, or me, honestly telling her that “I wasn’t paying attention.” And do you know what I was thinking about while I wasn’t paying attention? Starting this blog.