Naibori Lori

No, the headline does not contain a typing error.

The church in New York City will be celebrating it's 30th anniversary this Sunday.  It's amazing to realize I have been a disciple of Jesus for 30 years.  What a journey it has been!  After I became a disciple, a lot of my life goals changed.  The more I read the Bible, the more I understood about God and wanted other people to have the chance to understand as well. 

I was working as an intern at a trade magazine when I started studying the Bible.  For years my dream was that after I graduated I would work for some publication in Michigan and eventually start my own magazine.  After I decided to stay and live in New York City, I wrote some free lance articles and received an offer to help start a group of children's publications in New York City.  I wrestled with that decision for awhile.  Eventually I decided that I wasn't sure I wanted my life to go in that direction any more.  I continued to work part time at the trade magazine, but later quit and started working as the secretary for the New York church. 

Being a secretary was not my goal. Having an opportunity to spend more time with strong spiritual people and learn how to effectively share the scriptures with others was. Working as the secretary was a step in that direction. The church didn't have an office back then and I usually carried anything I needed in a small plastic box with a handle.  I took the office wherever I went!  One of my responsibilities as secretary was to get the weekly bulletin printed every week, have it at church on Sunday and then mail it to people all over the U.S. early the next week.  Most of the time everything went smoothly.

But one week I walked into church and was greeted by several people asking me if I had seen the bulletin.  I said yes.  Then someone showed me a copy.  It was the week that we were announcing plans for the New York church to plant a church in the future in Nairobi, Kenya.  I had typed the article.  I took it to the printer.  I went later and proof read the copy.  But I had somehow missed a big mistake.  The headline didn't read "Nairobi."  It read "Naibori." 

I felt awful.  Some mistakes happen behind the scenes and can be corrected before anyone knows.  This one was out front.  And it cost the church money to have it re-printed before it could be sent out.  I had missed the spelling error.  Not a big deal in the scheme of things, I know.  Two men at church were tickled by my mistake.  For years I have had the nick name "Naibori Lori."  I have known that every time I would see them the incident would come up.  And I have really disliked it.  It rankled me inside.  I just didn't like being remembered for my mistake.

Can I be really honest, though?  It's good it happened.  I'm much too serious about myself and have trouble laughing at my mistakes.  It's my pride.  I fret and worry and build them up much bigger in my head than they ever could be in real life.  When I told Tom I was going to write about Naibori Lori, he grinned and said, "you can finally do that?" 

Yes, I can finally do that.  It probably happened about a year or so after the congregation started meeting in New York.  Twenty nine years is long enough to be bugged by such a silly mistake.  Way too long, in fact.  In my heart of hearts, I have always thought it ironic that I ended up in Nairobi on the church planting.  I think maybe God got a chuckle as well...
Lori ZieglerComment