A while ago I got an indication of an aspect of the life of a muslim cleric. I was in the parking lot at my local Safeway walking to the store from my car when I became aware of a man in his mid-thirties, about 40 feet away, approaching me from my right side, pointing at me, and yelling “You have a lot of keys!” I slowed up and looked at him, and he kept coming, still pointing at me and the many keys on the ring hanging from my belt and loudly repeating all the while “You have a lot of keys.” I stopped, wondering what was about to unfold. “Panhandler?” I wondered. “Crazy person?” I later came to know that he worked there, helping customers to their cars and bringing grocery carts back inside. From appearance and pronunciation it was immediately obvious that he was middle eastern and probably muslim. He came right up next to me and stopped, still pointing and saying “You have a lot of keys.” Thinking that there was going to be a language barrier and my mind racing for a way to make sense of Verger or Director of Operations, I came up with “Uh, umm, I work at a Church.” To which he asked, “Are you the Iman?” Struggling even more now for something that would make sense, I came up with, “Uh, no. I help the Iman.” His demeanor became serious, and he lowered his voice to confidential conversation level and said “Oh. You bodyguard!” Close enough I thought, and said “Yeah, me bodyguard.” And we smiled, nodded to each other and parted.

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2 Responses to Bodyguard

  1. Lois Stratton says:

    Well, you never know what challenges we all face. So reassuring to know you are a body guard. Now I understand why you march the choir forward so precisely! Lois Stratton

  2. Linda V says:

    Ron – this really made me laugh! I guess he would have been really confused if you told him your “Imam” is a woman. What an interesting encounter.

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