I will get back to birthy posts soon, I promise.
Recently, Norah was participating in a food drive for United Christian Ministries. Fantastic. She helped pick out what foods we would donate each week. We talked about need. We talked about sharing.
Then, I realized it was a contest within this group. The group of kids who brought the most food would win a pizza party.
A pizza party?
See, I grew up with stuff like this. Lots of rewards for good behavior, memorizing scripture, perfect attendance. I kind of felt that way of thinking was behind us. That we had a new understanding of social justice. That the reward was in the doing and the giving.
Somehow I cannot imagine Jesus, when he sent his disciples out, saying, “whosoever heals the most lepers will get first seating at the marriage supper of the lamb.”
Actually he said they would be flogged and hated.
Norah’s group didn’t win the party. I’m relieved. Because the people we were collecting cast-off, dusty cans of creamed corn probably don’t get many pizza parties.
Am I a scrooge about this? Maybe it is all harmless. I know I can’t shelter her from shallow rewards and legalism. But oh how I want her heart to stay tender to the needs around her. I want to model ways of engaging with people without tidy third parties.
Or pizza parties.