Everybody wants to carry the rock. You too?
So far it’s happened every Sunday since Lent started. I collect the acolytes as usual fifteen minutes early from Sunday school so that we can get our robes on and practice the candle lighting and Bible carrying before big church starts. But now that we’ve added a third element for the children to place on the altar table each week, a heavy rock to serve as a visual aid, they start jockeying to carry it before we even make it out of the children’s hallway. “I’m used to lifting heavy stuff, Miss Becky. Ask my mom,” a child says. “But I’m strong too! Pick me! Pretty please?”
It’s ironic. Our pastor’s Lenten series, The Stones We Carry, is about putting down the stones we carry, releasing the things that we insist on holding onto that keep us from closeness to God, yet these kids can’t wait to pick up these rocks!
I guess I can identify.
One of my favorite rocks is I Can Do It Myself. Also known as I Don’t Need Your Help. Also, more rudely known as I Am Afraid You’ll Think I Am Not All Powerful Super Woman If I Let You Help Me.
Boy, that’s a long name. And it’s a really heavy rock. Super heavy. Toe crushing, if you drop it. Back breaking if you carry it.
I remember when a good friend of mine had breast cancer. I argued and pleaded with her to let me help her with something. I don’t remember what it was now, but she didn’t think I needed to do it. “Sorry Charlie,” I remember saying. (Her name was not Charlie. I had to explain this expression to a group of children the other day and they were very confused about what a tuna fish had to do with anything.) But back to my story…I said, “Sorry Charlie, but I need you to let me help you. It would be a present to me.” She still looked confused and I explained that though I couldn’t fix her cancer or her worry or her children’s worry or her husband’s worry, I needed to do something because I loved her. If she would let me help her, it would make me happy. It would be a gift to me. So she let me. And I felt good doing whatever it was. It was a blessing to me more than a blessing to her, I’m sure.
Life has been mean and ruthless and tiresome lately around here to people I love, and I hope that those dear people getting chewed on and pulled under will stay far away from a dangerous rock like that. People, let other children carry your burdens a little. We’re lining up and begging, saying, “I’m used to lifting heavy stuff. Please pick me!”
PS. By the way, thanks for coming back to visit me here after my blog was on hiatus for a couple of weeks. No, I was not off in a sunny clime, sipping fancy drinks and getting tan/work for my dermatologist buddy. My blog was attacked by someone who should really make themselves carry some heavy rocks around for a while, because they obviously have nothing better to do. Anyway, welcome back!
PS #2: If you’re part of the Art After Worship group of volunteers from yesterday, don’t read this and think I was trying to be All Powerful Super Woman by setting up for our art class by myself. I am guilty of this sometimes, but not yesterday. No, I’m afraid that when one waits until the last minute to set up without realizing how much there is to do, one deserves to have to do it all by oneself! Maybe one will learn a lesson from all this one day!