No Shirt. No Credibility.

I've spent two nights this week arguing with a second grader.  Not my kid.  It's VBS week at our church.  I'm one of the travelers for second grade.

During Bible study the kids were told to get in groups of two.  Being that there was an odd number of children, my second grade friend told me he didn't have a partner.  I suggested he join the two kids in front of me, to which he replied I can't.  The teacher didn't say I could.

To this concern, I assured him that it would be perfectly fine to join the group of two, adding that I am a teacher too, like a real teacher.

No you're not, he retorted.

He then began to look around the room at the other four teachers, each of whom were wearing a red VBS shirt.

You're not wearing the shirt, he told me.

As much as I tried to convince him that I had the authority to give him permission to join the two beside us, he was steadfast.  I wasn't a teacher and he wasn't moving.

Being the educated adult that I am, the next night during opening ceremony, I had the idea that he ask my husband what my profession was.  He then asked me who my husband was. Wide-eyed at his forgetting who I'm married to (I've known the kid for four years) I reminded him...It's Brother Jason.   You know that, right?

Creasing his right eyebrow and somehow simultaneously lifting up the corner of his mouth he looked at me incredulously.  No he's not! He is NOT your husband.

I called Jason over to our pew indicating with an aggressive wave of my hand that we had urgent business for which we needed his help.  So he came.

Brother Jason, what am I...what has been my job?, I asked.

A teacher,  he replied.

Right, I smiled.  And who are you to me?, I continued.

Jason looked at the boy stone-faced.  ...She's my mom.

(FBC Nederland, your pastor lies.)


No t-shirt.

No credibility.

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Don't ask me why it was so important that I convince a second grader. It's a little silly if you ask me. I worry too often whether or not people know me for who I really am.  I'm transparent. I'm cool with people knowing my mistakes and frailties. But I also want everybody to know these things about me.

  • I love Jesus.
  • I love my family.
  • I love people.

Not everybody knows that about me.

I can't help but remember the lady I had conflict with in the restroom in Target a few years ago.  She was standing by the sink (as opposed to near the stalls).  A stall soon opened up, but she remained in her spot.  Rather than asking if she was next in line, I assumed she was waiting for a child to finish up.  I paused and then proceeded to the stall.  She unleashed a wave of fury on me letting me know how rude I was for cutting in front of her in line.

I'm most positive my face contorted into what looked like an angry troll, but I kept my words few. I thrust my arm out and pointed to the open stall and said, Sorry, didn't know you needed to go, so just go!

She could have easily assumed I loved neither her nor Jesus.  I could have thought the same about her, after all, neither of us were wearing the t shirt, not that the shirt would have made a difference.

The shirt does little more than give an impression.  Time is the real teacher. Time affords us the opportunity to show who we are as we invest.  It grants us the chance to be who we are.  Most important, time, beating in slow grace-filled rhythm, shows those willing to see, whose we are.

...for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:27


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