Supernal Sunday – Jan 28, 2024 Edition: My Mind Wonders

This week is going to be different from most others. Last night as I was falling asleep I was thinking about something simply I had seen, and my mind embellished it until it was simply speculation. This is where my thoughts went…

I thought about a young man, a family man who, like most others, carried a burden for the care of his family as well as the other cares of life. He had troubles, not unlike most. One day he was out with his preschool child, and they were looking for a playground. As he rounds a corner, he sees a church. In his heart, memories of his childhood, going to church with his grandma, came to him. He had an unfamiliar – these days, at least – feeling of peace, with thoughts of fellowship and friendship from those days. This was a place where he always found support, acceptance, and love… He hadn’t been to church in years, but maybe…?

Feeling lighter already, he takes his little girl to the playground near the building. His mood is a little brighter, just for being there…and she is excited and delighted to play on these new structures – made it would seem, just for her!

Meanwhile, someone is inside the church, and observes this stranger bringing a child to the playground…

My mind wonders what happens next?

Does this church guy – let’s speculate that he is an elder, there to do some paperwork – does this elder see an outreach opportunity? Does he smile at this picture of familial togetherness between daddy and daughter? Is he glad to see their playground being used as even a small part of their bond, and their happy day together? Does he wander out to welcome them, introduce himself, and let them know that they may have a place there, where they may find support, acceptance, and love? And then after a firm handshake, return to his duties, smiling at what he sees, and offer up a small prayer for this little family?

Or does he look out the window and see trespassers? Does he instantly think of the cost of upkeep for the playground…the liability insurance…the risk and the nerve of someone on their private property, acting as if it was a public schoolyard? And go outside only to yell to them that they had no right to be there, telling them they had to leave, destroying those few minutes of lightness of heart for the young dad…and making him question his thoughts about church?

Yes, this story was made up in my head, just from a father and daughter playing on a playground in a church yard…and it was a lesson to me about the opportunities missed, the hearts *I* may have hurt when my mind was on “self” and not others…when I was involved in something else and didn’t want to bother…when I had a chance to share a few minutes of support, acceptance, and love, but instead only saw that I had right a perceived wrong…

WWJD? What would I do…

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