At Big Red Dog Elementary School, the students in The Princess’ class received a serious talk about not bringing weapons to school. The story is going around that one of the boys in her class brought a gun to school and was expelled. He was not at school today. Someone saw something, at least someone said so. At least one someone said The Princess turned him in, but since she didn’t know anything about it before the teacher’s talk, that wouldn’t be possible. She still isn’t sure what really happened.
I know my breath left my body when I heard the news, even though it may just be stories, for it was followed by this from my daughter: “I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. He’s not very smart. I should know, since I sit next to him.” I had to hold onto the kitchen counter. I could not speak.
It wasn’t the first time today I had trouble finding words.
At Hippy Dippy High School, #2 Son and his classmates are looking for opportunities to job shadow next month. I asked him what he thought the teachers would do if someone wanted to shadow a pastor? “I don’t really want to be a minister,” he said. I didn’t mean you, I said. “I don’t think many kids this age are thinking about being ministers. All my friends are atheists. They think the world is depressing and there is no God.”
At Small Church, a fundraising call came in from the national church, not for Missions or Hurricane Relief, or even for supporting the national setting’s budget, but for a TV ad that most networks are refusing to air anyway. Meanwhile I just passed along a letter to our Ministry of Outreach asking us to give more to keep the national setting going, and we are sincerely trying to do so. I explained my concerns about the multiple demands, and shared my concern that the ad was ill-chosen. Finally, Mr. Fundraiser said, “A share in the ad campaign is just $500. If you get even one new member, you could make this back double in the first year!”
What are we talking about here? It sounds like a proposal for replacement windows, not a sincere desire to bring the news of God’s embracing love to those who feel rejected by church and church people. Evangelism is not an investment scheme. I wish I had been able to say this to him, but shock prevailed.
A hard day it was, in many ways. But it had moments of holy conversation, moments when no further words were needed because the speakers understood one another perfectly. Earlier today I called to arrange a visit with Little Button Lady, a charming person who is limited by nerve pain and disabling vertigo. She rarely attends church because her day starts slowly. She lives in a darling apartment with a sweet little balcony, where we have talked and prayed together many times. Each time I visit she shows me her latest arts and crafts projects; The Princess and I envy her button collection!! I told her about the crocuses growing in front of the church, such a strange sight with snow on the ground, and she told me she could see over her railing to the little crocuses in the garden beneath, also smiling through the snow.
Then she said of this funny Spring, “I can’t wait to get planting!”
In the midst of fear and doubt and ignorance and pain, there is still hope for the Resurrection. There is absolutely hope.