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Playing in public

June 19, 2007

Last night after dinner we decided to play cornhole on the Piazza again. (Note: we are calling the front apron of the church building ‘the Piazza’ now. It’s our little slice of Italy in west Norwood.) It started out with only 3 of us and I was wondering if we’d have enough for a game. 3 ½ hours later we had over 40 people involved in all sorts of spontaneous community… cornhole games the whole time, people slipping in and out of the café, Jill giving Katie Ferrell a haircut after a bothched job at Great Clips where they labored unsucessfully to correct Katie’s self inflicted haircut (Jill worked her craft and brought it around though), several people playing guitars, a neighborhood guy named Johnny White Boy sang us one of his songs on the guitar, after dark there were Van Morrison songs wafting from the church building, Italian sodas and tangerine pop for the kids from the café, littled groups sitting at the tables under the new umbrella canopies, dogs wandering in and out, kids on bikes lacing the piazza with joy, neighbors bringing gifts of all kinds. Just amazing.

It was a great way to celebrate Julie’s birthday as well: the party nobody saw coming… a real surprise party thrown by our Invisible Partner that none of us expected!

One of the many gifts exchanged was given by a treasured neighbor. Brandon and I were talking about Van Morrison and using more of his songs in our weekly Sunday gatherings. He led “When Will i Ever Learn to Live in God” for communion a few weeks ago. Cliff, who has few worldly possessions and lives about a block up the street overheard us and said “I got his greatest hits volume II… I’ll go get it for you…” Literally before i could protest and tell him i would just download it he was up and on his way to get it for me. The upsides to that are legion but for me it means i get the lyrics – which is key – and i get the connection with Cliff which is eternal.

Pure joy.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Maria permalink
    June 20, 2007 4:38 am

    I’m sorry I missed this… we need an RSS feed that says “spontaneous community now happening.”

    That would probably take the fun out of it though. 🙂

  2. June 21, 2007 1:26 am

    Now I’m homesick. Thanks a lot jerk.

  3. Rambo permalink
    June 21, 2007 7:33 pm

    Morrison’s “Whenever God Shines His Light” is a good call to worship song, especially if you use it with a slide show of community folks/activities, etc. I don’t know if “…Shines His Light” is on his greatest hits, but it is on his Avalon Sunset album. Always good to hear how you all are doing community in your neck of the woods. If I wanted to hear back from you I probably need to text, but that’s not my thing…oh well…hope you doing good. blessings!

  4. June 22, 2007 2:41 pm

    All I can think is kingdom, kingdom, kingdom. There is something so kingdom of God about the spontaneity of play…with kids running around…neighbors letting down their walls for a brief moment. This is the fruit of the long haul, Rains, not giving in to the demonic need for instantaneous results.

    Love to be sharing a cold one with you on the piazza…

  5. June 23, 2007 10:52 pm

    more van morrison is always a good thing…

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