I chose the name “Maricella” because I like that name and the person who I am renaming Maricella for this post is someone I have always liked. Very much. She is someone that I always thought would champion the underdog because she has been – and really is still – one.

Probably more than anything else, Maricella is a devoted friend to a woman who I have also always admired. That woman (I’ll call her “Flo” because my mom’s name was Florence and, well, I miss my mom a lot), Flo, was for a time a mentor and friend to me, as well. Well, kind of.

Flo was one of the very few people who heard my story beginning to end. And as an elder in the church, she was indignant that I had been judged, ostracized, condemned, persecuted, and not ever told “why.” But, she also was fearful of speaking up on my behalf because her son was employed by the church and she didn’t want to jeopardize his position. These were her words almost verbatim. So, I guess really, she wasn’t so much a friend at all since she couldn’t risk her position or her son’s to stand up for what is right and to demand that the leadership handle my situation scripturally and according to their own denomination’s disciplinary protocol.

So, yesterday I posted some things on Facebook and, lo and behold, Flo and another “former friend” from my former church “liked” what I posted. That was startling to me. I know people are screaming, “Why did you have your facebook settings public?!?” Well, because I have nothing to hide. Seriously. I have nothing to be ashamed of and I live really clean so I was okay with that.

What I wasn’t okay with was that these two women who are not my friends and who have shunned me since I was tossed out of the church, were apparently trolling my Facebook posts. So, I put up a new post that pointed this out and that’s where Maricella comes in.

Maricella commented that maybe I hadn’t been unfriended but that Facebook had taken me off of Flo’s friend list and that there were health issues involved, etc. Well, apparently Maricella wasn’t aware that when the Flo first heard that I had been tossed out of the church, she had sent me a message asking what had happened. I had replied asking her to call me. No response. A week or so later, I emailed her again. No response. Ever.

So, I asked Maricella if she thinks that shunning is okay. She replied that it is not, but that there could be other things or reasons that I had not had communication from people.

So, I explained in more detail the way that Flo had not responded to my messages even though she had been the one to initially ask me what had happened. I also told Maricella about others who would not respond to my emails, texts, messages, etc. And I described my experience just last weekend at a nearby ice cream shop. A group of ladies from the church were sitting out front at a picnic table when we pulled up. When they saw us pulling into our parking space, they pointed us out to each other, then got up from their table and got in their car and left. As I got out of our car, I saw a woman standing in line waiting to order and she was waving at me. I recognized her as the associate pastor’s (the senior pastor’s brother whom I usually refer to as Ethan in my story), and I smiled and waved back. She suddenly realized not only that I was someone that she knew, but apparently that I was also someone that she was not supposed to be nice to or communicate with because she immediately dropped her hand, turned away, and ignored us.

Her daughter and son-in-law were sitting at a table waiting for her to join them but when she got her order, she went over to them and indicated that they needed to leave, all the while making it obvious that she was intent on keeping her back to us.

I explained all of this to Maricella in my response to her post on my Facebook page. Maricella didn’t respond after that, so later in the day, I looked for her page so that I could send her a message. Maricella had unfriended me.

So much for her belief that shunning is not okay.

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