Considerate friends can be odd

My previous entry reminded me of something else I wanted to comment on. A couple weeks ago, my friend James and I talked on the phone. Recently, he and his girlfriend of three years got engaged. I congratulated him on this development and we talked about their plans. He spent a considerable amount of time talking about their wedding plans. It appears that there wedding will be nontraditional in a number of ways. (Knowing James, this is not exactly a surprise.)

However, what really got me is when he got talking about the religious undertones of their wedding ceremony. Understand that James, like most of the people with whom I forged friendships before 1995, is an evangelical Christian. James in particular is a United Methodist minister. He and Michelle met at seminary. To be honest, the religious undertones are to be expected. What surprised me is when he commented that he hoped it didn’t make me uncomfortable.

First let me say that it’s a sign of the kind of friendship James and I had that he’d even bother expressing concern about my comfort level during his wedding. It says a lot about his character. Of course, I assured him that I’m not concerned about it. I’ve sat through church services before. I think I can be comfortable during a wedding ceremony for someone I’ve been friends with for over a decade.

The one area in which I did appreciate his concern is when he mentioned that they will be serving Communion during the ceremony. Naturally, I won’t be participating in that part of the service, which is fine with me. What I appreciate is James’s understanding that being one of the few people (if not the only person) who does not participate in this part of the service can make you feel rather conspicuous. I’ve been to church services with my parents over the past couple years, only to find out too late that it was a Communion Sunday. There’s nothing quite as disconcerting as watching everyone else walk by you and giving you a quizzacle look because you’re not going forward to partake.

All in all, though, that whole part of the conversation struck me as odd.

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