I had someone who didn’t know me invite me to church. As she handed me a small postcard that promoted her church, I took her postcard but politely declined it and shared my Sunday morning ritual with her. Coffee in bed, phone on do not disturb while watching T.D. Jakes online for over 10 years.
She was familiar with Bishop Jakes. She was very quick to say she liked him but he needed to lose weight. I decided to let that go and not respond since our relationship was professional but the feeling of body shaming came up in me so quickly that I had to find the nearest exit sign and exit.
Here are the issues with this scenario. One she was so loyal to her church that she kept marketing material in her purse. Next, she loved her church enough that she wanted to share it with me. She was representing but what was she representing? Her free will, unsolicited opinion on what I was loyal to and what I loved. Which was referring to my bishop as “fat”. See how that worked? Her invite, marketing material, and church spill were all in vain after she threw stones at what I loved.
She followed up with me by texting and asking if I had visited or watched online. This time I was not polite and I firmly told her no and that I would not be watching or attending due to my loyalty to my ritual. Again, she reiterated that Bishop Jakes was overweight. “He needs to do something about his distended abdomen. We need him in better shape.”
After that text message and her reiterating her opinion, my thoughts changed to what has she experienced that has brought her to body shame others? What wound does she have that she feels superior enough to throw stones at what I love? Why is she promoting her church as a source of love when she is not representing that to me? I decided to meet her where she was and let that go. I may never have the answers to my questions, I’ll just conclude she is wounded and she is probably unknowingly bleeding on others by throwing stones at what others embrace and body shaming folks. But one question does remain what is she representing?