My mini-weekend away was wonderful. I forgot how good it felt to sleep seven hours straight. I wanted to take the fluffy king-sized bed home with me, and when I saw a catalog on the desk I realized for a couple thousand dollars I could!
I had the best of both worlds at this conference. While I sat with a group of women I knew, I was traveling alone. I had a hotel room to myself, I traversed from the hotel room to the forum and back alone, and made my way through the mass of women at the forum alone. I felt like a free agent. I could come and go as I please, and rather than having to be constantly engaged in conversation with people I had the chance to watch. And oh did I watch. And sometimes I spoke up.
After the conference ended Friday night a mass of us headed back to the hotel where The Narrator had reserved a room for me. The line for the elevators reached the hotel entrance. As everyone around me chattered and complained and gossiped, I observed a family of four walk in the front door and realize they had made a mistake. I’m sure they wished they had known that a conference full of women was in town and had stayed farther away from the action. The Dad held a very asleep 6 or 7 year old daughter on his shoulder. I saw them look at each other and wonder how they and their 10 or 11 year old son could get to their rooms. I watched in amazement as none of these Christian women paid any attention to this family. It was obvious; they were the only ones waiting for the elevators who didn’t belong to “us.” Slowly they inched their way forward. By the time I was at the front of the line, they were close to getting on an elevator, and it bothered me that no one had offered to let this family get on an elevator ahead of all of us. Truly. All they had to do was ask one person and they’d find out that we were a group of
cranky Christian women. Nice. When I go to conferences like this where I am very obviously (and sometimes unfortunately) representing the name of Christ, I go out of my way to leave a loving impression. I smile, I look service people in the eye, I let them know I appreciate them and I always say thank you, even if I’m in a rush. Really, it’s the way we should always be, but in a heightened situation like this, I heighten my attention to those details. So when the elevator doors opened, I held out my hand and called to the family and asked them to please get on the elevator. “I know what it’s like to have sleepy kids. Have a nice evening.” They gave a quick smile and thank you. As the doors closed I heard some grumbling behind me from some lady who was obviously up past her bed time. Five more minutes wasn’t going to kill her. I just hope that if this family finds out they were stuck in a line full of Women of Faith that they felt like we cared.
I like traveling alone. I feel a bit bolder.