Friday, February 4, 2011

The Church Member Who Cried Wolf

We have a really irksome woman who attends our church. Surprise, bet you don't have one of those! Anyway, she calls us constantly wanting us to pray for this person or that person, for this illness, that catastrophe, this broken relationship, that lost dog. You get the picture. I am not saying that she shouldn't, this is the pastor's job isn't it. However, when she calls it is mostly about how these requests affect her. "I just don't know how I can stand anything more." "My plate is full enough." "I don't think I can help anymore." "Well, I have something more I have to deal with." Sometimes I just want to ask her if she thinks these things are hard on her, how does she think the person who is going through them feels? Yesterday she called four times with requests; a friend's daughter who was taken, seriously ill, to the hospital (I just can't loose her, she is like a daughter to both of us) - however, no one accompanied the "daughter" to the hospital. The daughter was admitted but walked out because she did not like the roommate.

Did we know anybody who would like a dog - kennel and carrier included (I won't be able to sleep until I find this dog a home). Did I know the name of that church that so-and-so came from (I just have to find my friend a new church - I know the friend and she is quite capable of finding her own church and most likely just wants to find one where they will cater to her and she will treat anyone who befriends her as her own personal servant). Please remember the woman I work with who is so sick (I just don't know how she will be able to deliver all those papers today and there is nothing I can do except sit here and worry about her and make myself sick).

In most cases the requests are things she has heard about - not directly involved in - so she really has nothing to do with it nor does she know that much about it. She just thinks she has to be in charge, she is the only one who can get anything done, or she is the only one who know how to do anything, the doctors can't do anything without her to show them how. I am sure the hosptials are ready to throw her out by the time the patient is cured.

Granted, prayer for anybody never hurts and I am happy to do that, so is my pastor hubby, but she makes them into a life or death situation and wants us to stop everything and call everybody we know to pray and chances are the dying person is on their way home (their earthly home not the Heavenly one) before we finish the calls. Like the woman who was being rushed to the hospital with either a heart attack or a stroke - to a hospital 75 miles away. Now there are three hospitals nearby and about a dozen between us the hospital 75 miles away and if she needed to be rushed, wouldn't they take her to a hospital nearby. The woman was not even admitted.

These calls always come with a lot of sighing, and urgency, and sobbing, and stress, and I am sure wringing of hands and pacing the floor. She called me one day and asked what I was doing and before I could think I told her I was just doing the laundry (which I was). She then proceeded to tell me about a man in my town who had severely hurt his leg and needed a ride to the hospital. She sounded so hysterical I asked for his name and address and told her to tell him I would be right there. She then told me he couldn't leave just yet as his wife had a doctor's appointment and he had to take her because she didn't drive. I think I muttered something about letting me know when he was ready to go, which he did not as I think it must have dawned on him that if he could drive his wife to the doctor, maybe he could swing by the hospital on his way home.

Once she called and told us her favorite cousin had died - one she had not seen in many years who lived about ten miles away. She wanted hubby to come to the viewing that night to comfort the family and so she could show him off as "her Pastor". The cousin had his own church and pastor who would be there and he had been "her Pastor" at one time but she just didn't like him anymore.

I don't mean to sound callous about this and I believe whole-heartedly in prayer and helping others but one day she will call, her request will be real, she will need "her Pastor" to help her through it, prayers will be needed, and we will be hardened, we won't really hear what she is saying.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds as though this lady does not have a life of her own other than being a "drama queen". Unfortunately?? it also would seem you
    are the one she knows will listen to her.
    Wondering if you have caller id that you might be able to screen some of these calls?

    I think of the song "He Looked Beyond My Faults
    & Saw My Need". . .should you know it that would be my encouragement to you. Like Jesus
    has done with us, look beyond these faults &
    see the need behind these actions. Feeling
    needed & important seems to be at the top of
    her list. Praying for you.