Saturday, March 14, 2020

Toilet Paper

It’s band concert season again.  It kicked off last Monday with the 42nd Annual Massed Band Concert at the Little Falls Community High School.  This is the concert where all of the bands from 5th grade up through high school, gather to play 4 songs together.  When you have 400+ students playing their instruments…you also have the parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, neighbors, and teachers of these students, gathering to hear the music.  1,200 people sitting on each others’ laps raising the room temperature to 98.6 degrees and sharing air and breath mints.

The concert began with the 5th grade band playing something like “hot cross buns”…and carried through the grades and ended with all of the band members for each grade moving their chairs into a huge 400+ piece band playing something like “hot cross buns.”

To entertain myself in the down time, I like to wave at my children and other children I know in the band.  To do this, I raise my arm as high and as straight as I can, and then flutter my wrist so that my hand flaps wildly at my children whom I love…to torture.  I have vowed to continue this motion until my children wave back at me.  Then, I move on to the next child…one by one, until they return the wave.  I may, then, turn my attention to other students that I know…I wave until they wave back.

After this years’ concert, my 8th grade son told me a story.  As he sat in the regrouped massed band, next to a senior, baritone saxophonist, he heard the upper classmen say… “Hey did you see that crazy dad waving at his kids in the band?...That guy is weird…funny…but weird.”

My son replied… “…____...” with silence.  He said nothing.

Sadistically, I took this upperclassmen’s comments as quite a compliment.  It meant that I was peculiar…different…odd…weird even.  It is not necessarily my life’s goal to be as strange as possible…but I will admit that it is not necessarily my life’s goal to blend in and conform to the world’s standards of accepted behavior.

For example…I don’t want to live my life in fear as I am convinced the media wants me to live.  I don’t want to conform to the values that the world says that I should value...just because the world says that I should value it.  I want to be a person who loves in a peculiar fashion…be a peculiar giver…I want to care in peculiar ways. 

Our world is currently entrenched in fear of Covid-19…and honestly…I get it…I find myself fighting the urge to conform to the fear.  But I refuse…I fight, to refuse.  It is not easy.  This does not mean that I have not and will not continue to wash my hands vigorously and perhaps avoid touching things or even shaking hands.  But, I refuse to allow fear to affect the peculiar way I may love and care for people.  I may not shake your hand…but perhaps greet you in another way…like giving you a roll of toilet paper in the name of Jesus.

Acts 9:19-31, gives us a picture of what Paul’s life began to look like after he became a follower of Christ. It is an evidence of love, care and boldness…not of fear, bitterness or resentment.  It is an evidence of a peculiar wisdom.

As followers of Christ we need to be both wise…and loving…both sensible and caring…both discerning and faithful.  We are to share the love of Christ…with or without toilet paper.

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