Making a Statement
My Grade 2 teacher was named Mrs Biggins. She was a lovely, kind lady with a penchant for Dr Scholls sandals and the many pocketed handbag. She had the most wonderful thick, black hair which she somehow contrived to style into what appeared to be some form of pith helmet. Why she did this or how she did this, is a matter my family still discuss. We should probably bear in mind that this was the late 70's/early 80's - the style equivalent of a sewage outflow pipe leaking into a tailings pond. But she was so, so sweet.
Mr and Mrs Biggins had a VW camper and this was decorated with stickers that said things like "marriage is forever". "I love my wife/husband" and "Mr & Mrs". These were displayed proudly as they drove around our small town, from one campfire session of "kumbaya" to another. Unfortunately, and to the horrified delight of the local community, Mr Biggins had a change of heart and decided that actually, marriage was not forever. I don't remember much about him but I suspect he was a user of Macassar and smoked a philosophical pipe whenever possible.
Although the marriage was no more Mrs Biggins kept the van and resolutely "kumbaya'd" herself all over the place for many years to come. The stickers were never removed. Somehow that made a real impression of me - the hypocrisy of the situation and the unkind gossip that was around. I would certainly hesitate to put such a sticker on my van. And I've always said the same thing about that little fish symbol people have to declare their Christianity. I would hate to think anyone associated the Lord with the way I drive - although I often hear people cry out "Jesus!" when they see my parking.
What does that say about me? It says I'm only comfortable making a statement of faith when in an appropriate setting surrounded by like minded people. That's not really very committed is it? And surely the whole point of the sticker would be to say "look - I'm a long way from perfect but I am still accepted into the Kingdom of God". At the Bible Study on Wednesday Elizabeth challenged us to follow Jesus, not just worship him. That is quite the challenge - and I think it starts with a bold statement of faith.
I'm off to buy a fishy sticker for my van now. Have a good weekend.