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That Didn't Come Out Right

Yesterday Maddie spent the morning playing
with a friend of hers while Cora stayed home sick. The mom called
me later to report in on Maddie’s behavior, and gave her (of
course!) a glowing report. Then she said, “You know, we did
have one conversation that I didn’t quite understand. Maddie
saw some campaign signs in someone’s front lawn and said that
her church forbids the use of those signs; she said that God
didn’t like them and they’re bad for the earth. I
didn’t quite know what to make of that.”


Oh, I think I know where she got that.

A few days ago, we were driving through
the neighborhood and I saw a “vote for Joe Schmoe” sign
in someone’s lawn, and I made the comment that those signs
were against our homeowner’s association’s rules
– if they were seen, the owners could be asked to remove the
signs or even fined. Maddie, of course, wanted to hear more about
that (rules and regulations? I’m all over it! she probably
thought) so I tried to explain it as best I could. “Our
neighborhood has a rule –no signs in the front yard except
‘for sale’ signs. So the people who put those signs out
aren’t following the rules – they’re not being

And that’s ALL I said!

Apparently that somehow got twisted up in Maddie’s mind, and
she now thinks campaign signs are against God’s will
(I’m not so sure she’s wrong) and that God dislikes
them because they’re bad for the earth. Maddie’s friend
Elise joined in enthusiastically, saying, “Yeah, they ARE bad
for the earth!” and I suddenly had visions of the two of them
running through the neighborhood, uprooting signs and trying to
heal the ground and grass. I’m not sure where this came from,
except that we occasionally talk about trying to be good stewards
of the earth since God gave it to us to use and protect. Otherwise,
I’ve no idea how she came up with that.

I told my friend that ten years from now, Maddie and Elise will
wake up one morning with the cheerleading squad on their front
lawns screaming, “Congratulations! You made the team!”
and jumping up and down madly. And both girls will run outside
quickly – but stop short when they see the homemade
“High School’s Newest Cheerleader” sign staked in
the ground. Five minutes later, when the stake’s been
uprooted and the entire team thoroughly rebuked, Maddie and Elise
will be at the end of the shortest cheerleader careers in history.

But they won’t care – they’ll be on their knees
in their pajamas, lovingly patting fresh sod and grass seed into
the hole.


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