gob-smacked (gob smækt) – adjective, slang
(Brit) 1. astounded; astonished; flabbergasted; shocked
This woman’s comment took me completely by surprise.
“I have to say, when you sent me an email asking if we could meet, I was completely gobsmacked.”
Really. What’s so strange about someone wanting to get together for coffee?
OH! It’s because I’m a Christian Scientist, and the woman I was meeting (as I soon found out) thought that “we Christian Scientists” prefer keeping to ourselves, emerging from our ecumenical dens only on an “as needed” basis.
Having grown up in the faith, I can’t say that her impression is very far off the mark. Sometimes “we Christian Scientists” do prefer to keep to ourselves.
Maybe it’s because we think our religion is “too hard to explain.” Maybe it’s because people are always asking us the same questions: “Why don’t you go to doctors?” “Why can’t you combine prayer and medicine?”
Maybe it’s because it’s just easier not bringing up the subject in the first place.
Sure, I know plenty of outgoing Christian Scientists who bend over backwards to include their friends and neighbors in any number of community events: public lectures, book fairs, even the occasional open house at one of our ubiquitous Christian Science Reading Rooms.
But outreach is a two-way street. As much as folks are willing to have you share something with them, they also want to know that you’re interested in what they have to share with you…
…which probably added to this woman’s shock. Not only was she surprised to see a Christian Scientist “come out of his den,” but probably thought it equally astonishing that someone whose faith she knew very little about would be so interested in knowing more about her and her faith.
Now that I think about it, having coffee with someone who was so willing to learn about Christian Science left me feeling a little gobsmacked as well.