I was decorating the church in Holiday style on Saturday and outside the church were these three boys. They were sliding around in the street on a sled and on their chests. Throwing snowballs at cars...basically being boys. The boy on the right kept looking in the window observing me and finally with a frozen face and a really red nose...he peeked in the door and asked if he could help me. I said yes and for most of the rest of the 5 hours he hung out with me. The two other boys were more skittish but they came in and helped me do a few things...if I paid them, gave the doughnuts or candy canes. But this boy just helped for the sake of being helpful.
During one of our moments hanging lights and stuff...one of the boys said he was tired because he got up at 2:30 AM. I asked why and he said: "Because his parents had been fighting". I asked why and he said...he didnt know. Nobody else showed up that day to help out; this is a busy time of year for most people..but God sent me three little men to include in the festivities. I had bought doughnuts for potential helpers and these little guys got the man share of them, to their delight. I found myself grateful that because nobody-else was there to help; these guys probably felt more comfortable joining in. It's moments like these that being present in a neighborhood produce continual opportunity to build on relationships. Capturing moments that you might miss, unless God makes you sensitive to the present. Turning one situation from a disappointment to a work of grace. Of course later that day when I was by myself, finishing up the Christmas tree that sits by the windows facing the street; I saw the boy on the left across the street. He was on the side walk outside his house when a truck pulled up with a police car right on his tail. The cop jumped out and ordered the men to get out; at the same time telling the kid to get out of there. Then another cop car and another and another; until there was a total of six police cars jammed in the street. Cops were surrounding the truck with guns drawn. Here I was trying to put the star on the top of the tree...and there they were with guns drawn. The issue resolved itself after the men were taken out of the truck, spoken to and then released and everyone left.
I took a picture, because, I thought the irony of the moment was worth remembering and writing about. I was standing there pondering the dichotomy of my day. Kids, conversation, love, sharing, helpfulness, greed, egos, domestic strife, loneliness, work, frustration, questions, grace...guns, police....interesting moments to ponder.
Peace on Earth?...well, Yes and....not yet.