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Open Features: The Girl Who Hissed Like A Cat

...I thought the worshippers would be like the enthusiastic Christian teenagers I met at university. They were nice enough but I didn’t appreciate their insensitivity towards non-believers. There was one girl who hissed like a cat whenever anyone said a rude word. It was great fun winding her up...

Lucy Nom de Plume tells of attending an Ascension Day service.

Yesterday evening I went to the Ascension Day service at my local parish church. A wonderful grey-haired lady in a woolly hat sat next to me and we chatted about everyday things. All the people there were normal, absolutely normal.

When I first started attending church a month ago my stomach used to churn before I entered the building. (”Maybe you were evil?” Laughs my very Catholic friend who believes in vampires.)

I felt so sick because I thought the worshippers would be like the enthusiastic Christian teenagers I met at university. They were nice enough but I didn’t appreciate their insensitivity towards non-believers. There was one girl who hissed like a cat whenever anyone said a rude word. It was great fun winding her up.

Of course as teenagers we all believe what we believe with great passion. At the age of 18 I was extremely prejudiced against Christians and I made no attempt to see things from their point of view. If I had been a Christian I would have been absolutely obnoxious.

The girl who hissed like a cat has probably mellowed into an open-minded and tactful woman. Similarly I am no longer prejudiced against Christians. People who go to church are just people.

My stomach doesn’t churn anymore and I’m finding it easier to have conversations with lay folk about Christianity. What troubles me these days is that I can’t tell everyone in my life that I have become a church goer. As someone who used to think about Christians in a very nasty way I know exactly how some people will see me.

My friend who believes in vampires says: “Show them your faith, it might change their minds, be proud!”

That is the worst thing I could do because it would frighten them. For me the most sensible path is the one paved with little white lies. I talk openly about speaking to priests and visiting churches but I don’t give my real reason. I say:

“I went to listen to the music.”

“My friend wanted to go, so I had to keep her company.”

“It’s something to do with work …”

I don’t know where all these fibs are leading me. I suppose I hope that the people I’m worrying about will get used to the idea that I hang around churches and might even guess the truth … but hopefully not yet.

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