I attended a Revival service at my parent's church tonight because my daughter was invited to sing. I no longer attend this church because God called us elsewhere, but I know many of the people there. The pastor is a wonderful man. I feel very comfortable there, because I grew up there. I was looking forward to going, and was proud of my daughter for sharing her talent.
The first person that I saw when I entered the church was an older lady that I've known since I was a child. Sally* warmly welcomed us. As I walked away, I heard another elderly lady, Jean*, that I don't know as well ask her who I was. She said "that's John Smith's* daughter". I was a fair distance away by that point, and Jean probably didn't realize that I could hear her. She said "oh, yes. she lost all of that weight and looked so good. Then she gained it all back."
Isn't church a place where we should feel love and accepted? Isn't this type of behavior the reason why many people don't want to have anything to do with church? I had to immediately put the conversation out of mind. Otherwise, I would have either burst into tears or left the church. I stayed, but became sharply aware of how uncomfortable I felt in my own skin. Despite being dressed nicely and fashionably, I felt fat and ugly.
God knew that my heart was aching, though. The speaker's sermon was based on 1 Samuel 16. The verse that I needed to hear was verse 7 "..... The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
I know that Jean didn't know I heard her. I don't believe she would have hurt my feelings intentionally. But they were hurt.
*All names changed.