Sidewalk Chalk and the Church (by Chet Bush)

I have been very pleased this week to be able to share with you several blogs from my good friend, Chet Bush. Chet is a pastor in Oxford, Mississippi who is currently working on a book project that I hope to tell you more about in the coming months.

I think you’ll enjoy another of his wonderful meditations…

Our kids have made friends with some new neighbor children via the medium of sidewalk chalk. The journey of their emerging friendship could be observed across our driveway through a colorful array of flowers and butterflies, trucks and trees, rainbows and creatively scrawled names. As their initially shy encounters deepened into growing knowledge of one another, the paved drive became more colorful, too. The sidewalk art serves as a symbol of their shared memory.

Then it rained. The drops fell hard and washed away all the evidence of their afternoon conversations. No more pictures, or names, or chalk dust to track in on the carpet. Baptized in water, the drive was clean again. (I had actually been looking forward to a clean canvas to park on again.)

It stopped raining. Driven by the imagination of new relationship, the kids could hardly wait to get together and fill the drab concrete with color. They collaborated at the end of the drive as the evening breeze swiftly set about drying the roads and walks. Now we have color again.

As believers, we move through various seasons of the Christian calendar. Ever since the beginning of the year we have shared a flurry of colorful activity. Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, then the Lenten march to Holy Week, Good Friday, and Resurrection, then finally Pentecost all scrawl across our calendars at a steady pace changing themes and colors.

At just the right time the Holy Spirit rains down on the Church. A cleansing occurs and a wind blows. But unlike the sidewalk chalk that is washed away this baptism brings color – doesn’t deplete it. And the children come out to play anew, adding color to the world, and relating to one another with inspired imaginations.

The beauty of the art is found in the variety and shared imagination of the children. They area metaphor of the church. We are the children.

How might God inspire us together?

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