Summer has officially landed at our house. School is out and the children have abandoned a reasonable night time schedule; the temperatures have been sizzling in the 90s; the fireflies are out in all of their glory. But something even more telling has hurdled us headlong into fun in the sun: the arrival of the dreaded ice cream truck.
This predatory creature always seems to know just when dinner time is. It summons children like the pied piper.
Doors are recklessly flung ajar as soda pop music is piped into the air, cajoling them into a trancelike state. The children with less astute hearing are soon enlightened by their friends, and it doesn’t take long for the streets to come alive with young voices.
Last night as I sat on the porch with my youngest, he began to plead his case for a tasty frozen treat. I reminded him that we have a whole box of perfectly good popsicles in our freezer. They’re just not packaged as nicely. They’re not wrapped up in his favorite cartoon character, and they certainly don’t come with a song.
Then, my ears pricked up. What was that? It sounded like the carousal music from a fair long past. My heart skipped a beat. I wanted to run down the street in pursuit of that joy on wheels. Instead, I gave my boy five dollars and contented myself to live through him in the next moments.
As I watched the doors flapping and the legs flying, I was caught up in the excitement of it all. In the midst of the fun, a thought occurred to me: Maybe we sometimes don’t put Jesus in the right packaging. We wrap Him up in Sunday mornings and hymns that are hundreds of years old; in pious looks and judgmental glares; or legalism and rituals that mean nothing to those who have never been to church. Where is the fun in that?