I recently was working with other women in a food pantry. When the number of people we were helping started to drop, we became concerned because we knew many still needed more food. So we started what I call “holy gossip,” asking questions of neighbors, relatives, and friends to find out who needed food. We found plenty of people who qualified for help but weren’t coming to get it. So we made up packages, loaded them in our van, and delivered boxes to elderly people living alone.“We know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:7).
Gossip is related to the word for godparent, so it has a holy derivation. I was shocked when I discovered this! Unholy gossip is bad, of course, but I have a healthy respect for holy gossip.
I love the part in our church service when, before prayer, we share joys and concerns. We hear about somebody’s grandkids visiting from Spokane or the birth of a great-grandchild. We also hear about someone losing a job or going into surgery.
The gossips get busy after church and call around. They get in touch with friends, neighbors, and relatives—Does he really want to see people, or is he too tired? Should I drop in today? That is good gossip.
When my husband and I go away for three months in the winter, I get the local newspaper delivered to me so I can keep up with things. When I come back, I always check in with a friend and ask, “What’s really been happening?” She fills me in, letting me know so-and-so’s wife died and he’s not doing too well, or so-and-so retired and he’s doing great—the sort of things I need to know to be a member of the community. The next time I see the person, I can ask about their news, or I can write a note to people in the hospital.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Holy Tongue Wagging
Quote by Kathleen Norris....
Posted by James at 2:51 PM