A few more thoughts on life as we currently know it…
1. A few months ago, the light over our back steps went out. It’s above the roof, a good fifteen feet in the air, and since our tallest ladder is eight feet, there was no realistic way I could change it. So, I emailed our landlord, asking him if he could send someone by to change the light. A few days later, I needed something else from him, so I emailed him again, and, at the end of the email, added a note reminding him about the light. This time he responded right away, answering my other questions, and then pointing out to me that it was, really, my responsibility to change the lights in our house.
I’ll admit that I looked at that email for a long time, wondering what, exactly, my landlord thought we had going on over here. At this point, we’d lived in this house for over two years. Did he really think that we’d never changed a lightbulb on our own before, slowly sitting around our ever darkening house, eating dinner by the light of our laptops, counting the days until the final light burned out before we shot him a notice? I suppose when you rent houses, you get all types, but my landlord knows we went to college, and so he could have given us some benefit of the doubt.
I wrote him back, (correctly) assuming that he’d missed the first email, and he sent someone over the next day to replace the light. In the end, not a big deal. But there is a moment in every person’s life when another person thinks that you are the biggest idiot in the world. This was my moment.
2. One of Donnette’s biggest fears is that, if something happens to the two of us, no one will know what Avonlea’s trying to tell them. It’s not just that she calls certain things by names other than what they are. *1* It’s that she, like most 3 year olds, doesn’t have a firm grasp on proper pronunciation, and can be difficult at times to understand. Most of the time, context gives the clue, but occasionally, misunderstandings occur.
To Donnette’s delight, Avonlea has decided that, when she grows up, she wants to be a pilot. I think this career choice came about when, after watching a movie about Tinker Bell, Avonlea decided she wanted to fly when she got bigger. Donnette told her that if she wanted to get her wings, she had to become a pilot, and that has been her general career goal ever since. This delights her mother to no end.
These two facts collided a couple of weeks ago. Avonlea’s class did a project, putting together little books full of facts about each child. It was sweet, and a nice thought, but on the back page, all Donnette’s fears were confirmed. It read…
“When I grow up, I want to be a pirate.”
3. I never really know how to tell people what I currently do. This situation came up most recently at a birthday party this weekend for one of Avonlea’s school friends. The grandfather of the birthday girl asked me what I did for a living, and I didn’t really know how to answer him. Seminary graduate worked for a little while, but I’ve been out for over a year now, so that response is rapidly losing ground. Missionary seems fine, except that we aren’t quite missionaries yet, we’re still raising support, and so saying “missionary” seems a little misleading as well. I could technically say I’m a pastor, which is true, but then I’ll get asked where, so that doesn’t seem to work either. I could also say I’m a stay-at-home-dad, which is also true, but it doesn’t tell the whole story either, and to be perfectly frank, not a truth I’m ready to stomach yet. In this case, I gave the guy the whole story, which was clearly more than he had bargained for, but I didn’t know what else to say.
Later though, I thought of something that would’ve been even more awkward to tell him. In the PCA, when you’re ordained, you’re ordained to a specific call. Assistant Pastors are called to be assistant pastors, head pastors the same, you get the drift. If, however, you’re called to do a new work, like missionary work or church planting in the US, then the title you’re given is that of an Evangelist. I’m a Teaching Elder in the PCA, but most technically, I’m an evangelist in the PCA. Back to this weekend, it was a little awkward when I told the guy I was a seminary graduate raising support to go to France and taking care of my kids in the mean time. Next time, I’m going to just say “I’m an evangelist” with no other details and see if that’s better or worse.
My bet is worse. I’ll let you all know.
Thank you for your prayers.
*1* This mostly happens in naming things. Disney’s “Tangled” is Punzel. “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” is Twinkie Star, etc.