I'm a stodgy old lady. Not old in the sense of age, but old in how I comport myself. I prefer quiet, I got to bed earlier than most of my peers, and I would rather stay in most nights. (Btw, PTS students, this is not a command to stop asking me to do stuff. ;)
Why do I mention this, you ask. Well, one of my fellow entering students likes to encourage the teacher/preacher by adding his amen, uh-huh, yes yes yes, or come on to the mix. Being my somewhat stodgy self, when I'm not expecting an audience reaction, the sound of it is jarring. During chapel today, I was actually getting really angry.
My thoughts were something like this: "Why does he always have to be the one to say the loudest amen? Does he really think the preacher needs to hear his voice every time he/she makes a point? Doesn't he realize he's worshipping with a bunch of Presbyterians now? I want to hit him!"
Suddenly, I realized how judgmental, unloving, and, frankly, stupid my reaction was. In the context he comes from, encouraging the preacher is probably common, even expected. Just because I fit into the overwhelmingly non-expressive worship community here, that doesn't mean I should expect every other student to do the same in order to make me more comfortable.
I won't lie, the commentary will probably continue to grate on my introverted nerves, but hopefully I will stop murdering my vocal brother in my mind.