I live in a small community hosting a multitude of Christian churches. They span the denominational and non-denominational gamut. Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Evangelical, Missionary, Pentecostal, Church of Christ, Church of God – you name it, we got it.
I am not saying they are overflowing full-to-capacity every Wednesday evening, Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Or that people are flocking to them in record numbers.
Honestly, there seems to be ample, available parking.
I’m just telling you that they are there.
The large public elementary school where I presently teach by is predominantly staffed by Christian individuals. Every day our cafeteria workers, custodians, and certified staff members have an opportunity to bless the children in their sphere of influence.
I’m not saying that they all openly profess their faith.
That they push the boundary between church and state that the ACLU has established.
I’m just telling you that by their own admission, they are Christians.
For many years, our beginning-of-the-year corporation staff meeting began with a blessing by a local pastor. This year we began without that public prayer.
I know there were probably many churches and small groups praying for the teachers and students in other venues at other times. But this year, on our first day of school, there was no communal blessing.
I’m not saying everyone noticed.
There was no outrage in the teacher’s lounge.
In most conversations, it didn’t take precedence over the predicted changes in our salary schedule.
I’m just saying it wasn’t there.
That day, the open call to God to protect and provide for our community’s most vulnerable and valuable – our children – was marked absent.
For some, it is probably a big “so what.”
But for me, it sounds more like “now what?’
As is, now what is my response?
Just what is my response to empty church pews, silenced public prayers, and a choke hold on the open profession of faith in my classroom?
It can only be one thing.
I will continue to lift up Jesus.
Publicly when I’m called.
Silently when I’m not.
It may not be popular.
Or politically correct.
You don’t have to agree with me.
But I can’t be something I’m not.
It’s just who I am and “Whose” I am that matters most to me.
I’m just saying…