Friday, April 14, 2006

Forgive me for I have sinned

On this quiet good Friday that isn’t really too good (when you place it in the context of the New RSV), my oldest daughter dropped by on her way to work. She had in her hand 3 colorful tickets. They were Lot=ery tickets. Not Lot like in the Bible, but Lottery as in badness, gambling, addiction, compulsion. Yes. Sinful paper products. Three of them. We looked them over in awe. Wow.

We looked at the fronts. They were covered with pop up print, not unlike the pop ups that appear on my computer. Bright, Bold, obnoxious, drunk type. Wow. Not even 9 am yet and here we were in the a beloved house of God, holding these noxious notecards. In the gambling world, they are called tickets. Sounds benign. Tickets for the movies, tickets for the playground train, tickets to the opera, tickets to the city of doom. Lottery tickets. Wow.

The back of each was covered in ant-print. Font size -2. With the help of a magnifying glass we could make out “Play responsibly” (as if that will make a difference. They may as well have said, “Be nice.” Either you will or you won’t but print doesn’t make the difference. )Also, “ If you or anyone you know has a gambling addiction, please call 1/877…” Hey, that’s good to know. Who are they talking about? Gambling addiction? Me? Us?Just because we bought 3 tickets? Maybe I should buy 3 more or 30 more to see if the same thing is on every ticket. Hmmm.

We held those tickets for a while and realized there were no directions. How silly is that? Can you purchase without being certified to play? Is it like driving? We should be licensed? We asked passers by, the cleaning crew- they wanted to see, too. But no one really had the guts to tell us how to play. Didn’t want to contribute to our addictive potential, I guess. So we went to the website and discovered the complicated process of scratching off the pop up words. The tension was building.

A few seconds later, we proclaimed ourselves Winners!!! $3.00 and two free tickets!! Woo Hoo!! The $3.00 investment paid off, clearly. You’ll probably read about us in the paper, but they’ll keep our names confidential at first to ward off scam artists who are interested in our money. So, keep your eyes open for the headline about the mother/daughter winning team. ..

After the excitement wore off, the guilt set in and we went hand in hand into the Pastor’s office to confess our sins. He forgave us, reminded us that God forgave us too, and then he wanted to see the tickets. There’s nothing more refreshing than working with a Pastor who is sprinkled with humanity. Now there’s a winning ticket.

Church Chick