Lately something about me either screams ‘pathetic’ or ‘this guy needs to be saved’. I’m not sure I look any more pathetic than usual, maybe I need a shave, yes that could be it. Wait, I think I’ve got it, that’s right I’ve got no legs, my life must be crap, I need God to show me the way.
That’s twice in two days I’ve been approached by the ‘God Botherers’, random members of the public who see me in shopping centers, on the street, at the movies, wherever, who think I need ‘saving’. Normally all I get is a handout with Jesus on the pamphlet, hey that’s fine, I get it, the teenage kid behind me who gets the same pamphlet gets it, no problem, it doesn’t ‘bother’ me.
But there’s always a line and the other day it got crossed. All I wanted was my cookie and coffee. Here I am at ‘cookie man’ ordering my dark chocolate chip cookie with macchiato and a lady next to me is staring, sometimes I think ‘she must think I’m good-looking’ or ‘must be appreciating my tattoos’ but inevitably the question soon comes “What happened to you?”
Ah yes, the question. Don’t you want to get to know me first before the hammer is dropped? I feel so violated. Now the game is on, should I use the cranky crocodile story or the alien abduction, how gullible is this person. At cookie man she fell for cranky croc and even asked me ‘Were you hunting it for crocodile boots’, maybe she was playing me.
Either way God was inserted into the conversation and after a few ‘God bless you’ I went to the table to wait for my coffee and cookie, yes this will be delicious. After five minutes the treats arrived and just as I’m about to dig in, out of nowhere my God botherer comes back, maybe she wants a bite of my cookie. Obviously she wasn’t satisfied that I’m a true believer because then she proceeds to sit right down next to me and we’re off to the races.
She never came up for breath. “God saved me, in your darkest hour he can save you, I lost my virginity young, I was bad, I’ve been with men, I sinned but the Lord came into my life….”, you can guess the rest, now at this point a line has obviously been crossed and I’m thinking a few different things ‘Ok, my space is officially invaded’ ‘I was really looking forward to this cookie’, ‘You gotta appreciate her conviction’, ‘Should I be rude to this lady’ and ‘I could use this as an exercise in patience’.
Anyway, somewhere between ‘The Lord will give you motivation’ and ‘Jesus is coming back’ I decide action needs to be taken, my coffee is getting cold, so I fake that my phone is buzzing, answer it ‘Yes, thanks for calling me back’, turn to my God Botherer ‘I’m sorry I have to take this, do you mind’, thankfully she takes the hint and after another ‘God Bless You’ is off into the vortex of the shopping centre.
Now let me get this straight, I don’t care what religion you practice, who you follow, pray to or worship, I don’t even mind the pamphlets but interrupting my coffee and cookie is wrong, wrong, wrong.
I did go to the ‘Church of England’ class when I was a kid. Do I believe in a higher being? Probably. To be honest I just don’t think about, if your life is driven by religion and gives you strength that’s great, I don’t judge, I’m the least judgmental person you’ll meet. I use the term ‘God botherer’ in kind of an endearing way, maybe its sacrilegious.
But c’mon just because I’ve got no legs and the easiest form of mobility is using a wheelchair don’t for a second spray your pity on me and think I need God or anybody else get me where I want to go in life, especially when all I want to do is drink my coffee and eat my cookie in peace, is that really too much to ask.