“Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted.” --Garrison Keillor
When I was a child, summertime was almost magic. My sister and I spent many summers with our grandparents in west Tennessee, which was a strange and foreign land when compared to Virginia Beach. We woke up with the sun, and started our days in the garden, picking whatever was ripe and ready, and letting that determine the plan for the day.
Before it got too hot, we were out on the front porch, shelling peas, snapping beans, husking corn…and we knew what we would be having for dinner that day. In the afternoons we had the run of the town; it was a safe place to roam, with cousins everywhere, including the town drugstore, where we could go and get a lemon or a chocolate Coke, made with syrups and soda water.
Our Tennessee summers came to an end before I entered high school with the death of both of my mother’s parents, but the lessons we learned have stayed with us. There’s the famous “never eat a store-bought tomato” rule but there are also simple rules of courtesy and kindness we learned in that summer town. The First Methodist Church in Milan was the first place I remember going to Sunday worship, and we always went to VBS.
I don’t remember anyone ever making a particular fuss over us, except the first Sunday of every visit. Then everyone would speak to us, asking after our parents and telling stories of when they were young. I never wondered if I belonged in that church, because they made sure we knew from a very young age that we did. And that feeling of belonging has extended to this day: I know that church is where I belong, where my roots are, one place that determines my identity, and so every church I go to is, in a way, home. As we start our LOGOS children’s weekday ministry, I hope that those children too learn to feel that the church is their home, that they are a part of us, that here is where their roots are.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Chimes article for today...
I forgot to write this for the "real" deadline, but fortunately there's some grace and I managed to get it done. Made me nostalgic for summer when I was a child, but it's also a pretty romantic view...it was hot, and I didn't mention the mosquitos.