Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Innoculating Power of VBS

Years from now, when I think back to this week, I'll remember it as a week of huge changes at work, as we think about the faculty members who will no longer be with us full-time, and a week of Vacation Bible School.  Oh yes, and some important court decisions about fair housing, health care, and there was another . . . what was it?

The event that most of the nation and future historians will remember from this week will be yesterday's ruling on gay marriage.  I listened to this story on NPR yesterday about Evan Wolfson the man who wrote a paper as a law student arguing for the rights of gay people to marry; he wrote it in 1983, and he's spent the time between then and now working on that goal.  I thought about how few of us see our goals and visions so thoroughly accepted.  He will go to his grave knowing he's been a success in what he set out to do.

And then I pulled into the church parking lot and the whirlwind that is VBS started.  Later, as we waited for the kids to finish their rehearsal, we watched photos from the week that we projected onto a screen.  Many of those pictures captured the children in amazing lights, with a variety of expressions--most of them happy ones.

I thought of that Wolfson and his campaign as I looked at those pictures.  I thought of each child and each life and how we cannot know the outcome of our actions.  Some of us will be lucky, like Wolfson, and know for sure.  But most of us won't.

Our VBS has more children from the neighborhood than church children; we see them once a week each summer, and that's it.  I have hopes that we've planted seeds.  Will they flower later?

History tells us that yes, the seeds will bloom, but in ways we can't anticipate.  Have we inoculated these children against the messages of hate, intolerance, greed, and other negativity beamed at them throughout each day? 

How I hope so!

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