It was time to write another installment, but I’d his something of a rut in my research. There’s a public elementary school across the street from the church where during certain seasons of the year I and several others spend our Tuesday afternoons running an after-school Bible club. Desperate for new material but only willing to invest minimal effort, someone suggested I pick out a 5th grade boy and ask him my questions. So I did. One of my favorite little urchins wears Jordans, never sits down, and never stops talking, so I told him to sit down and be quiet. I had some questions I wanted to ask.
For a time during college I dated a girl who was a Christian but her parents were not. Even then it was clear I was on track to a career in ministry though the path was quite unconventional, meandering through ropes courses, whitewater rapids, and sizable portions of Appalachia. This scenario on one occasion led my own mother to ask, “What do her parents think of what you…do?” Having already pondered this question I replied that while I believed they were by no means opposed to them, her parents definitely regarded my varied exploits with a heightened level of curiosity. “Don’t we all,” said my dear mother, her voice trailing off as she turned to look out the window.
And then it happened; a simple text message. “What you doin Thursday brotha?” This simple query represented a monumental turn in my foray into suburban American millennial post-Christianity-ness…and other sociological labels contradictory to any typically applied to me. Maybe I’m just as suburban and American as the next guy, but I digress. At this point I had interviewed about 25 individuals and managed at least one follow-up interview with just four of those unfortunate persons. I was still contemplating what a realistic new year’s resolution would be in regard to continuing this project when the phone beeped. For the first time an interviewee requested to meet with me rather than the other way around.