So I ushered yesterday at church, and while proffering the collection plate I came upon a man soundly sleeping. He looked sort of homeless, although marginalized people usually sit, well, on the margins. In the back, out of the way.
I didn't want to make a biased assumption that because he looked disenfranchised, he would have nothing to put in the plate. There was an envelope on the pew beside him, although it wasn't an offering envelope.
Hmmm...what to do? I thought of softly jabbing him in his arm with the edge of the plate, but I didn't want to embarrass him, or hold up the collecting process. Or, more likely, misjudge the distance between us and end up painfully poking him or knocking him over (I have terrible depth perception).
The deacons are told never to awaken a hospitalized person, and while this wasn't exactly that sort of situation, I decided to move along and leave him and his envelope in slumbering peace. At that very moment, his eyes opened. I took the opportunity to thrust the plate right under his face in a last-ditch attempt to get something out of him.
What I got was a very impressive demonstration of some really good sleeping. He failed to notice the plate, his eyes closed again and he was out like a light.