On a rather gray day, a young teenager biking over to the lake stopped at the corner as I was waving with a little hesitation: “Can I ask you something?… Do you get paid to be here?”
A simple answer would have been “no,” but I fumbled a bit. As a pastor, a part of my role and job is to live into my call at church and as life integrates into the world. So in a sense, I get paid to live into this role, but this particular expression is not a “paid gig.” It’s different from the folks that stand with an arrow pointing you toward a big sale. What am I advertising? Joy.
What is the going rate for that? Do I think this is something to offer–indeed. How am I paid? In the joy of it, in the waves, in the opportunity to connect with neighbors and glory in the wildlife taking in our busy streets. In the conversations I get to have parishoners about days on the corner. I tried to get at a little of this, but just indeed with, “No, I don’t get paid to be here.” 🙂
Not too long after, a bird flew about thirty feet overhead carrying twigs in her little talons, heading for a nest. She’s making her home nearby; she’d determined this is a promising little corner of the world to settle in.
On my walk back to the church, I spied a little boy on a tricycle on the handicap ramp. I asked his father if I could share my balloon. Me: My son gets these all the time, could I share this with you all? He loved watching it bob.
Could this be the birth of future days sharing balloons with neighborhood children? Free balloon Fridays?