When we got home last night, came in through the door, it felt wonderful. It was just plain nice being home for a few days. We have dived into lecture season and are going to be all over the map the next few weeks. Still, there is something about being home. Having a place to snuggle into. A safe place.
Being a lecturer, writing a blog, doing the kinds of things that I do, puts me constantly into an odd relationship with others. Someone once mentioned to me that being a trainer is the only job where you get evaluated every day you go to work. And that's true, being that public means that others get to judge you, make comments about your work, your style, and often even your looks. I'll never forget the 'he shouldn't be allowed to present until he loses some weight' or the 'he has ugly feet' or the 'if he had any self esteem at all he'd be embarrassed to be seen publically'. These things do stay in one's head - even if pushed aside. There are thousands of positive comments - but being human, who remembers those?
So, getting home is always nice. It feels like a safe haven. Or it did. I picked up the phone and it had a beeping dial tone that indicated messages in the voicemail box. I grabbed a pen and then plugged in the password. Was told that I had entered the wrong password, remembered that I'd changed the password, reentered the new one. There was only one message.
My heart leapt to my throat as the machine told me that the message had been marked urgent. I've never had that before and was worried about being away and having an emergency call. Then a harsh voice came on leaving a vulgar, threatening message. With a trembling finger I saved the message for Joe to listen too. Joe listened and said, 'I'm erasing this.' And the message was gone.
We had decided to have a listed number here in Toronto after years of having an unlisted number. Because of a couple of controversial things I've done over the years, threatening calls became fairly commonplace. But I haven't had one for a long while, I haven't had one here.
Suddenly I felt more vulnerable. I felt frightened. I don't understand people's need to reach out and slap someone. I don't understand people who will make nasty personal comments about a speaker. I don't understand people who will pick up the phone and leave a threatening message. If you don't like me, my message, or my style. Don't attend my lecture. Don't read my blog.
I'm fairly easy to avoid.
After a long talk, we've decided to change nothing. I have to say what I have to say. Joe supports it all. So we're here to stay, until God moves us along.
So, since I can't call you back ... you didn't leave a name or number. If your purpose was to scare me. You did. If your purpose was to shut me up ... you didn't.