Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Jogging for Jesus?

We live on the street along the back gate of my children's school. On the best of mornings--post our usual in-house haste of getting dressed, combing hair, brushing teeth, and gobbling pancakes and fruit--I open the front door and watch my children mosey/walk/jog/sprint (depending on the time) the short distance across the street, through the jogging trail, across the yard and into the school.

This morning, as with most mornings, there is a couple jogging on the track. When my son crosses the woman's path, her husband half a track behind or ahead of her, she hands him something that he reads to slow his gait. Before he can make it into the school door, my shoes are on and I've sprinted across the street to see what she gave him.

Worry #1... that he actually accepted the small comic strip from the woman

As I left my son, stomping back across the yard and onto the track, I stand in the woman's path as she approaches. "I have no problem with you offering this to me but do not approach my children or any other children without their parents' permission." She replies with a vigorous nod of her head, as if she doesn't care to listen, "Jesus loves you!"

Was that ever in question?

As she jogs on, I contain my desire to shake her. I think of the words I will give my children when I pick them up this afternoon about remembering not to talk to strangers nor to accept ANYTHING from them.

The front office of the school promises that the Principal will confront the woman and remove them from the grounds that we all take for granted are safe. And not that the woman necessarily meant harm. But, it was her entitlement that incensed me; that she thought she had the right to approach my son and impose her literature on him. Or that what his parents are giving him needed a supplement that she felt she COULD... no, that she NEEDED to give directly to him without my/our knowledge or consent. What is that? Because I am BEYOND CERTAIN that if I had chosen, upon my morning exercise, to offer her child or any other some colorfully animated leaflet that said, "Are you a good person? Allah thinks so," I'd be more than excused from the school track.

(also posted on