31 March 2020
Special Afternoon Addition (Got a little busy)
This morning I noticed a neighbor’s driveway inundated with cardboard boxes. At first glance I reckoned that the family was engaged in some intensive Spring cleaning like just about everyone else in the Upstate. Upon closer inspection, however, I realized that the kids in this particular family were deploying boxes for a morning of improvised fun. One child seemed to be rowing in his box like he was piloting a canoe down a concrete river. Another kiddo was in full architecture mode, stacking his boxes skyward in what I must assume was an attempt to surpass the Burj Khalifa as the tallest building on the planet. I admit, I thought it would be a lot of fun to build a fort with my own kids if they were still into that sort of thing. (Sigh) That’s the beauty of cardboard boxes: Your F1 race car is my rocket ship; my bunker is your mountain cabin.
We’re doing a lot of improvisation these days. Restaurants retooling for curbside service. School at all levels delivering instruction through E-learning. Board meetings via Skype and Zoom. Brick and mortar churches delivering worship and learning opportunities digitally. Kids playing with boxes—and unleashing the creative juices—like it’s 1979 all over again. Our routines are upended, friends. But we’re in a creative mode too, no? I’m already imagining which of today’s improvisations will become tomorrow’s standard practices.
Speaking of improv stories, one of my favorites focuses on the arrest and imprisonment of Paul and Silas. These coworkers in mission have been arrested because their ministry keeps upending the status quo in the community. “Put ‘em jail to muzzle them,” the thinking goes. Makes sense; doesn’t work. While in lockup, Paul and Silas publically pray and sing as the other prisoners listen with interest. Faith is stoked in an unexpected venue.
Improv is good for all of us. As we rise to meet the challenges of the current impasse, we are establishing healthy patterns of love, life, and faith for this moment that might be adopted permanently. That’s a good thing.
Who’s got appliance boxes? Asking for a friend.
Reading for Today: Acts 16: 16-40
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