One of my dearest friends in the entire world is a pastor at a Lutheran church in Minneapolis. Once, after meeting her at a barbeque at our home, another friend stated, “Oh shit! You’re a pastor! Why did no one tell me this sooner? I’ve been swearing all afternoon!” We probably should have told him sooner, too, as I noticed earlier that she had taken out the small note pad she carries with her at all times and recorded his name in the “SINNER” column; it’s kind of like Santa’s naughty list and all pastors and priests have one (universal sarcasm font needed).
At some ordinations, pastors are given a set of keys to symbolize that they may grant access to heaven. They can forgive their parishioners of their sins, thus granting vacancy at the pearly gates. At any rate, that’s my explanation of a pastor’s powers – although theology probably explains things better. After she was presented the “keys” to heaven, I figured she also had the right to lock the door on the baddies, so I requested that my ex-husband please be barred. I’ve learned forgiveness since then, and she denied my request to damn him anyhow (damn her goodness).
When it comes to religious occasions, I expect her to give the best gifts. My daughter received a really wonderful book published by the Augsburg press. My son was just baptized, and he also received a book from Augsburg. I eagerly opened it up to read to my daughter, as my son is yet too young to understand any text. As I started reading, I was a bit confused, so I turned back to the front of the book and the introduction. The introduction was basically a set of instructions for reading the text, using the small stories as prompts for greater discussion and paired bible study. You must locate the scriptures to be studied in the illustrations; it’s biblical Where’s Waldo. So, okay, I read the introduction, and the book made more sense to me, although I’m not entirely sure any children’s book should need an instruction page.
Having believed I had now made some sense of this book, I continued to read on and came upon the following sentence: “One of the differences between people and squirrels is that people say thanks when they receive something.” Good to know … and I had just been internally pondering – what makes people and squirrels different? It’s a deep and thought provoking question that has often kept me sleepless at night. Now I have one answer, but am in desperate need of more; please leave your comments below providing another difference between people and squirrels.
I laughed out loud when I read this line, and then announced to my husband, “This book is really bizarre. Listen to this …” After enlightening him about the unique differences between humans and squirrels, I returned to reading the book, which seemed to acknowledge its own bizarre nature. It continued, “We say thanks for candy, thanks for letting me play in your yard, thanks for the homework help, thanks for the weird present!” So, my dear friend, this post is to say “thanks for the weird present!” Thanks, thanks, thanks.