Guest at Our Table

During each church service at our fellowship, there’s a portion of the service where the kids go up front and listen to a story or some message from the minister. This lasts for several minutes, and then they go to their religious education classes. Oftentimes, this segment of the service resembles an episode of Art Linkletter’s “Kids Say the Darnedest Things.”

Oftentimes, Betty or Boo are the ones saying the darnedest things. Today was no exception.
The minister (who, I might add, is brand new to our congregation and hasn’t met us yet) called the kids up front and asked how many of the kids had one of these boxes at home on their

kitchen table.

Everyone raised their hand except … Betty and Boo. The minister explained that perhaps they weren’t here last week (we weren’t) when the boxes, part of the Guest at Your Table program, were distributed. For the next 4-8 weeks, we are asked to keep said box on our table and add spare change to it as a way to remember those less fortunate around the world. The box represents a Guest at Our Table. The minister went on to explain that, as an example, there are many, many people around the world who don’t have water to drink and by putting money in the box, they would be helping that person have clean water.

She then asked Boo if he would like a box. He nodded and said yes. She handed him one. And then she turned to Betty. “Would you like a box?”

“No.”

Not, no thank you or some other pleasantry. Just a flat-out “no.” What a proud parental moment. She might as well have dropped the f-bomb along with her flat-out refusal. I’ll remind you that this is the same child who, 24 hours ago, was talking about spreading peace and goodwill to all.

Although the minister doesn’t know us, many of the congregants do. (It’s a small, brand new congregation, having just opened its doors only eight months ago.) So there I sat, mortified. (The Dean wasn’t there. He was several blocks away in his office, getting ready to leave for a business trip.)

And then I hear Boo. My dear, darling Boo to the rescue. “She’s my sister. We live in the same house.”
The minister smiled. Oh, she said. I didn’t know that. I’m still getting to know everyone. Boo assured her that was OK.

So now the box sits on the table, awaiting our guest.
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