As I sat in the dark by the side of the road, window down and raining splatting in, with the exhuberant lights of the cruiser behind me illuminating the car like it was day, I made a resolution. No. Not a resolution to drive slower. That would be to lie to myself. But a resolution to express my opinions.
There, in the spotlight of the law of Rodanthe, (sounds sort of Star Wars esque, doesn't it?) I decided that my blog is boring, even to me, because, although I have many opinions, I am quite careful not to say anything too opinionated because the environment in which I live and breath is very controlling.
So... from this day forth my blog may be different. (It was a sort of near death experience that changed my life forever.)
For instance, let me speak of this (I am starting slow and low). My granddaughters just illustrated to me how they roll forward in a ball with their heads on the floor, against the wall of the school hallway when there is a tornado warning. Fair enough. Then they told me about their lock-down drills, where half the class goes to the bathroom and is locked in and half the class goes to a storage closet and this is practiced in preparation for danger in the school.
Now I will not waste my time railing against the ills of our time which are obvious to anyone with a brain. I will not lament the culture my dear girls are living in, a culture that seems normal to them. The loss of innocence. At years eight and ten.
No, I commend the school for not using hope as a method (which I for one took a while learning.) If this is the world we live in, then let's be smart. And ready. At the seminary where I work we are woefully unprepared for anything remotely violent. We are, I think, reasonably ready to handle a pointed theological contest ... without putting anyone's eye out. But that is it.
A lot of things have changed and I don't pick up hitchhikers, don't do parking lots at large shopping malls after dark if I am alone, don't invite the delivery man to sit on the porch on a hot summer day and have an iced tea.
And I am sad that this is the way it has to be. But we had better find a new way to build community alongside the protective habits. Find ways to make our personal world hospitable, soft and inviting. After all, if our protections against the outside evil serves to isolate us and keep us from being open with one another we will have lost.
When the grade two class is crammed in the school bathroom in lockdown practice, I take great joy in hearing how they laugh and play. This, says Megan, is "Not serious enough!" I think she would like the teacher to make them all be solemn as befits the occasion. Or maybe she just wants to test me and see if I think this is serious, telling me about it.
But I think they might want to have a stash of candy in the bathroom behind a glass door with a little hammer that says, "Break in case of emergency." Then part of the lock down could be a little party - a silver lining of sorts.