One Day at the Office

By Danni Moss
Copyright protected, all rights reserved

Several years ago I worked for a local municipality in the Planning and Zoning office.  Among other things our office also handled business licenses, sign permits and code enforcement.  There was a known list of a dozen or so persistent offenders who could be counted on to fail to renew their business licenses every year until they were cited, or who constantly posted illegal signs for their businesses along the road sides and had to be cited year after year.One of these people was a woman I knew.  She was a vocal Christian and the leader of an area homeschooling group.  She also ran a children’s consignment sale a couple times a year within the limits of the municipality for which I worked.  She had to be cited every year for operating a business without a license and for posting illegal signs.  The whole office new her by reputation because she was not only in violation of ordinances she knew about on a regular basis, but she was rude and ugly to the city employees who dealt with her.

On a particular day in the office, she came in to protest her latest citation.  It was nearly first thing in the morning and she made a huge stink that everyone in the office heard.  I was embarrassed to know her, and particularly humiliated that she would act in such a degrading and derogatory manner when she openly wrote the label “Christian.” Everyone in the office talked about her all day because she was so nasty-tempered.

In contrast, at the end of the day another woman came into the office to get a business license.  She was getting ready to open a New Age gift store.  She was one of the nicest people you could hope to meet.  Not only was she polite and uncomplaining, she went out of her way to be personally friendly to the women in the office.  She ended up getting into a conversation with a couple of them and gave them an informal psychic “reading” right there on the spot.  The tone of the office was changed by the visit from this woman, and the day ended with everyone talking about how nice she had been and how amazingly accurate her “reading” was.

What a sad commentary!  The Christian left everyone feeling like they’d been dragged through a sewer for the day and the pagan brightened the mood of the office and left a distinctive mark in favor of her religion.  I wish I could say this was an isolated incident.  But I see drivers of cars wearing icthus fish on their bumpers cursing out other drivers.  More recently when working for a home renovation and repair company we renovated a woman’s bathroom.  She complained constantly throughout the process, but then talked about the Bible study she led at her church.  As the job reached its end she refused to pay until she had gotten a lot of work done for free.  Then she said she would never refer anyone to our company for work, in spite of her beautiful, updated $20,000+ bathroom (that she had gotten for about half that price by the time all was said and done).

Why do Christians seem to think their “Christianity” is just for Sundays or when they are proceletyzing?  It isn’t real Christianity if it isn’t true to the core, day in and day out, regardless of the audience or the lack thereof.


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