From the Schoolhouse
Staff meeting. Friday morning. June 9, 2017. 8:40 am. Room 803. Sixth grade hall.
I saw Shorebirds dancing in the surf.
The tension was thick. The teachers were huddled among the kids’ desks wondering, waiting, pondering their fates that hung in the stale air of this old science room. I sat among them, trying to blend in, untethered from their concerns, drifting on a headwind that carried me far away. Suddenly, the door opened, and the assistant principal walked in clutching a briefcase. Silence. He played with the computer for a minute and then flashed a color-coded schedule upon the Promethean Board. Everyone squinted. Discerning eyes dissected the spreadsheet. Silence. Hard thinking. Whispering. More whispering. Dark eyes. Troubled expressions. A smile here and there. More whispering. An explanation from the AP. Silence. Furrowed brows.
I saw Shore birds dancing in the surf.
A question from a teacher in the back desk. The answer was quick, curt, sterile. She studied the spreadsheet again. She sighed. Brow furrowed. Another teacher drew closer to her. Comfort. Anxiety. Consequences.
I saw shore birds dancing in the surf
and I too sighed.
From the Pulpit
Nehemiah walked the walls and noticed the change of mood. The people had been working with such joyous determination for days. The new vision of a restored city with strong, solid walls had lifted them all to new heights. But threats from Sanballat, the governor of nearby Samaria were spreading among the workers. Quickly fear ravaged the workforce. Nehemiah saw it in their faces. They had suddenly given up.
And then there was a moment of brilliant inspiration. Nehemiah knew what he would do. He called the people together and told them something startling. He would teach them how to become warriors. He would give them reasons to fight. He would distribute weapons. And when he did these things, the people rose to the challenge. The work resumed. Vigilance reigned. Sanballat watched from afar but did not attack.
Can we learn something from this ancient remedy to paralyzing fear? I think so. Just pick up the weapons God has given you and become a spiritual warrior.
From the Pews
The quarterly church conference began with prayer and the quiet reading of the minutes. Then Tommy Hines presented the matter at hand–a leaking roof. He reminded everyone of the soaked front pews and soggy carpet that followed a recent storm. The roof needed vital repairs. The cost to replace the entire roof was exhorbitant–over $100,000.00 A smaller repair would be adequate, however. Everyone sighed and voted for the smaller repair.