Tuesday, November 19, 2013

oral interpretation inspires...

It had been a while, but today was spent judging a regional oral interpretation contest in Webster.  They were apparently desperate for judges, as I haven't actually coached in over a dozen years, but it was a hoot.  The kids were amazing.  Some of their pieces truly struck home.  But it wasn't the kids, or the pieces, or the coaches that inspired me today.  As I was seated in the overflow room in the Methodist church on 9th Avenue (just in case you get to Webster and want to check out my story) I noticed a felt banner hanging by the door.  You know the type of which I speak.  They hang them for baptism to announce to the church.  They hang them for weddings.  They hang them for funerals.  And sometimes they just hang them for seasonal inspiration.  This one fell into none of those categories.  Going across the top it said, "Open Minds" and down the side, it said "Open Doors".  At first glance, I was impressed that the church would proclaim their members as open minded, and that they would open their doors to all.  Of course, that struck me as only fair.  If you can't go to church without being judged, where can you go?  Then the educator in me kicked in and put the two together. Open minds open doors.  If one is open to different concepts, new and exciting possibilities await.  Only when one is open to change can one pass through to a new level.  Being a change advocate, I kinda liked it.  Not true.  I really liked it.  You see, it was just this last week that a friend of ours died, and when it came to choosing the facility for her funeral, her family went to the church where her husband was a member to set up the service.  They were politely (at least I hope it was politely) informed that since SHE was not a member, they would not "host" the funeral.  They denied one of their members the right to have his wife of over 50 years burial service in his church.  Because SHE wasn't a member.  I look at it in two ways.  That was pretty close-minded.  No.  That was amazingly, unbelievable, disgustingly close-minded.  Way number two?  That was just plain wrong.  I can but hope for this family that this event opened their minds and opened the door...to find a church and church family that shows the love and compassion they preach from the pulpit every worship service.  Every once in a while, the hinges on my mind have to be oiled.  Today, the WD-40 was a felt banner.  May you find your open doors lead to amazingly good things, and know always that you are loved!

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