Yesterday I was hanging out at my favorite local coffee shop, knitting all alone in the corner since the yarn store didn't open for another hour and a half. Although I have made the mistake of coming too early to the yarn store on three other occasions, I never cease to arrive early on a Saturday, tug at the door, cry "WHAT THE F---?", press my nose on the door, try the door again, and then dissolve into tears as I check the hours listed in the window. Well, that may be a tad melodramatic. I don't really press my nose on the door.
So anyway, I'm in the coffee shop downstairs from the yarn store and I have to admit, I have had some interesting run-ins there. It must be the place to go for hopeless losers that like to eavesdrop on other people's conversations, and I am most definitely including myself in this little club. Once I was accused by a total stranger of being a communist when my friend and I were discussing the funeral coverage for Ronald Reagan. (When asked my opinion on the coverage, I said "I'm not much of a fan". This was the most diplomatic thing I have ever said and I still had the nut jobs on my ass! Since she was an old lady, I only put her in a headlock and took her dentures so she'd be unable to dispense those biting comments to total strangers.
Yesterday I sat near two elderly gentlemen and listened to their discussion about a summer program that their church runs, apparently for underprivileged kids that had not been "saved". They talked about bringing these kids on a long bus ride that ended in a riot one year, with the kids rocking the bus back and forth and throwing all of their papers out the window. They discussed how the staff didn't have enough time to actually minister to the kids, that the kids didn't know how to sit still, they didn't know how to behave, the teen aged girls were on the make, and so many of them were...gasp...black! The one guy said that their church spent $1200 last year on this program and he didn't think a single soul had been saved! Not one of those rotten brats had actually taken Jesus into their hearts!
Well! I didn't realize it was so expensive to actually save a soul.
The entire conversation hearkened back to my experience at a fiber retreat a year ago or so. When talking about our experiences growing up, one woman said that she learned about Pagan babies in church as a child. They would actually send the kids around to collect money for the church for the "Pagan Babies". This money was then sent to missionary workers who would no doubt use it to convert the unwashed multitudes. I wonder if they got a better exchange rate then $1200 for a bunch of kids that didn't find Jesus.
Since I heard that comment, I have been trying to work the phrase Pagan Babies into something. A band perhaps? A T-Shirt? A new religion? A revolutionary movement? Perhaps our guiding principals would be the right to not have people try to convert us. Perhaps we could spread the idea that you don't have to mix religion and morality. Perhaps we could let people know that there are good people in this world doing good things and maybe they don't want to go to your church. Perhaps we could realize that the best way to turn a young life around is to be their friend and lead by example, you know...what Jesus did...