Don’t I know you?

Published 4:26 am Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The choir looked festive in their many shades of red as they sang their hearts out during the worship service on Sunday. After Sunday school, I sneaked around to the back entrance of the sanctuary, instead of going through the front entrance as I usually do. I heard through the grapevine that the choir director wanted me to sing in the cantata. I had attended a couple of practices early on, but I gave up on the idea when I had to miss practice because of unforeseen family events.

I knew that I would not add to the other voices, because I don’t have enough natural singing ability to wing it. So I made myself scarce just in case Brad tried to talk me into turning toward the choir loft instead of my seat near the back door. I was glad that I was sitting in the congregation as the rousing music rang out lifting our minds toward heaven and the reason we celebrate Christmas.

After the musical, our pastor spoke to the congregation briefly. The musical told the story of Christ’s birth, and our pastor spoke eloquently of the significance of accepting the gift of Christ’s death on the cross. All in all it was a lovely and fitting service ending with the congregation singing a much beloved hymn. Toward the end my eyes scanned the congregation to find the couple who came into church a few minutes late.

I noticed them come in for several reasons. The first being they were a little late, but also because I hadn’t seen them before, and they were of a different ethnic group than the majority of the church members. I made a mental note to try and find them after church to introduce myself and help make them feel welcome. I spotted the well dressed couple after the closing prayer and asked my hubby to wait a couple of minutes before entering the throng of people rushing out to find some lunch or do a little last minute shopping so we could meet them.

We made our way through the crowd to the new couple, and Mike and I shook hands with them both. Neither of us made introductions, but the couple acknowledged our efforts to welcome them with a warm smile. The thought popped into my mind that an introduction might be nice so I turned back to the couple to start a conversation.

“I’m Jan, and this is Mike. Are you guys from around here?”

“Yes. We have recently moved to the area from New Orleans.”

“We hope you will come back again.”

“We plan to. Our home is in the subdivision right outside of town near here.”

After another moment or two, I looked more closely at the lady’s husband and a light bulb went off in my head. Soon we were all laughing and planning to have dinner together when we realized that they were the new neighbors who had moved in across the street!

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at