little orange traffic cone.
at least a little funny to think of your pastor as a member of a roving pack of
sorority girls who went around the campus at the College of Knowledge, once upon a time,
collecting cones of all sizes to leave outside the door of our friend
Connie, nicknamed "Cone" after Connie Conehead of Saturday Night Live fame. In
the dormitory hallway, they stood in a line, until the Resident Advisor saw them
and suggested a call would be made to the campus police if they did not return
to their more appropriate environments.
directly in front of our driveway, and I wondered for a moment if it didn't mean
something significant, until I looked further down our dead-end street to see a
line of four little bicycles, complete with training wheels, in the start position
for a big race. Mothers and children watched me pull into the driveway, and when
no cars stood in their way, the race began.
I have to admit I wasn't thrilled to notice the cone back on the manhole cover
when I woke up yesterday morning. No children were in sight at the hour of 6
a.m. Someone had left the cone out, unattended, never bothering to consider that
it might be in someone's way. I pondered the possibilities and eventually put
the cone on the grass just across from the manhole cover, safely out of harm's
way: harm to itself or irritation to me as I swung around to miss
aggravating to the people in my neighborhood? Jesus had a lot to say about
neighbors and about enemies, too. He wanted us to love all of them. I don't
always find that easy to do, on my street or in the world. And sometimes church
presents us with the greatest challenges of all. Anytime a group of people
gather, there can be frustrations and disagreements, and it's even more true
when people care deeply about their purpose for being together.
night, the cone had returned to its proper residence, somewhere down the block:
no calls to the police, campus or otherwise, required.
as gentle at responding to each other's failures.