Pastors should not throw a fit at the Christmas tree lot.
Picture the scene: fussy baby, sick mother, agreeable father, and a kind-hearted grandfather. A sunny and warm Saturday in Mt. Pleasant, SC -- perfect day to get baby's first Christmas tree. We tried a few nights ago, but because the baby had a meltdown and the all the trees were scandalously expensive, we decided to try again another day. That day was today. And this mother - this pastor - threw a fit in the Christmas tree lot. Not a big fit. But a fit nonetheless. It went something like this:
Carmen standing next to the family car: "I want a tree, but $65 for a tree is outrageous."
Clark, cheerful and ever cognizant of our public roles as pastors: "Let's go home, regroup and try this another day."
Carmen: "I hate that Christmas trees are this expensive around here! I keep thinking of all the poor folks who cannot have access to a simple Christmas tree! It doesn't seem fair that the poor cannot celebrate Christmas." (Yes, I said that.)
Clark, knowing that his wife isn't particularly rational at the moment: "The good news is that the profits here are going to charity."
(Loud sound 10 feet away- we turn and look and see that a squirrel has fallen from a tree and hit the pavement - doesn't move)
Carmen: "This is the worst! All we are doing is killing animals all day!" (Clark and the grandfather have been fishing)
Clark, eager to redeem the moment: "I think he's just stunned! Like when we played soccer and got the wind knocked out of us."
(enter cheerful church member)
Church member: "Everything okay?"
Carmen, forgetting that she is a pastor: "Why are Christmas trees so expensive around here?!?!"
... blah, blah. The encounter went on. I gathered myself, proceeded to run into multiple warm and lovely church members who were happily purchasing trees, and was mortified when we were given a generous discount when finally paying for a tree. Pastor for the win.
I am now in bed, the baby is wailing, and we have a tree in a bucket outside. I have a hunch Jesus is smirking. Or because Jesus is definitely doing something supremely more important than smirking at my bad behavior, I plan to lay here and feel badly for 5 more minutes. Then there will be grace. And throat lozenges. Throat lozenges for everyone.
5 days ago