Some people call them ‘psychic vampires’.

I had a saying in a few years back, that’s the only person that could depress me was me”. I’ve learned since then I just had not met enough people.  There are people in our lives that are “Joy suckers”. A pastor friend of mine coined that phrase and it’s an apt one. These people have an uncanny ability to be able to suck the joy out of almost any occasion. He relates to the fact that on the occasion of a 150th anniversary celebration of an old and distinguished church he started to focus on the concept of joy suckers.

The magnificent old church had a wonderful fellowship hall combined with a large kindergarten through eighth-grade parochial school. All of this was on one block and in between the church itself, the school, and the fellowship hall was a beautiful enclosed courtyard wonderfully planted with flowers and blossoming trees. Many of the pastors who had served the church over the years come back for the celebration.  All were vested preparing to process into the church at the opening hymn,  “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee”  The choir would process in with the pastors and all would be willing and ready to celebrate this marvelous milestone in the life of the church of God.

All  were gathered in the courtyard and preparing to enter the church.  Just before the opening peals of the pipe organ a couple walked up to the local pastor and the women said in a rather loud voice, “one would think that at a celebration of this magnitude someone could’ve cleaned the grass out between the cracks in the sidewalk”  and walked away.

The pastor related this story in a semi-humorous way but you could tell that to this day it has bothered him.  He said that he can’t remember what the sermon was about and that he thought about the remark all through the service and the dinner afterward.  His exasperation was two fold – one, that someone could be that shallow and petty at that moment, and two, that he was so shallow and petty that he was bothered by it.

Life in a fallen world.  We want to acknowledge the thoughts and concerns of others no matter how stupid they are and at the same time the major issue is that we don’t have time for this nonsense anymore.  If we take our doctirne seriously we are living in the ‘Grey and latter days” and “love of many has grown cold”.  The days of focusing on the grass growing in the cracks of sidewalk need to end.