Put Your Money Where Your Thoughts And Prayers Are

, , , , | Legal | January 5, 2019

A local Sunday school commissioned me for a painting. I took the job and did everything they asked, and they were happy with it. They seemed like the perfect client… until I sent them the invoice. This is a verbatim quote from their email:

“We were thinking about this with our crew and with our kids. We prayed for guidance and God told us we shouldn’t you pay this money. Instead, we’re going to pay for you in prayer and blessings.”

Now, I have to sue a Sunday school because God has a personal beef with me.

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When He Upgrades To Four-Letter Words You’re In Trouble

, , , , | Learning | March 17, 2018

(I teach Sunday School to a group of seven- to nine-year-olds, so there is plenty of squirming and giggling to go around. Today’s lesson calls for me to teach a few words in sign language — “love,” etc. — and I’m going over them, when one of the boys raises his hand.)

Boy: “What does this sign mean? I always have to hold my hand up like this when I need to use the bathroom at school.”

(I recognize he’s making the sign for the letter T, which also means “toilet” or “bathroom” if you shake your hand. I explain it, and the boy thinks for a moment.)

Boy: “What’s the sign for the letter O?”

(I demonstrated, realizing we were getting a little off track, but happy that he was engaged and interested. The boy giggled and immediately began fingerspelling “T-O-O-T.” With only two letters I managed to give an eight-year-old’s sense of humor all the ammo it needed.)

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Don’t Baby-Talk Your Child

, , , | Learning | December 22, 2017

(I’m a Sunday School teacher for children who are aged six to eight. One Sunday, a seven-year-old girl comes into class.)

Girl: “I don’t ever want to have a baby.”

Me: “Oh? Why not?”

Girl: “My mommy says that you have to get a shot in your back that goes all the way to your bones!”

Me: *assuming she’s talking about epidurals* “Well, not all mommies get the shot. You can choose not to.”

Girl: “But Mommy says that if you don’t get the shot, it hurts really, really bad. She says it feels like you’re ripping in half. And sometimes, you do rip in half on your private parts!”

Me: “Someday, you might decide that you want a baby, anyway. But if you don’t, that’s okay, too.”

(She seemed satisfied with this, and I’m sure there was a context, but why was this mother discussing the gory details of pains of childbirth with her seven-year-old?)

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Not Going Fully Native(ity)

, , , , , | Learning | August 24, 2017

(I am in charge of costuming all of the Sunday School kids for our church’s annual Christmas pageant. I have made a stack of patched, ragged tunics and headgear out of donated sheets, towels, etc. for the shepherds, and told them that they need to either bring a pair of dark colored leather sandals (no flip-flops) to wear that night, or if they prefer they can go barefoot. The dressing area is in the basement, and it’s a little chilly. An eleven-year-old boy has donned his tunic (and shorts under the tunic; I’m not a stickler for realism) and is arguing with me about his footwear.)

Boy: “Why can’t I wear my socks and running shoes? I’m cold!”

Me: “Because you’re a poor shepherd.”

Boy: “Couldn’t I be a rich shepherd?”

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Looks Like They Still Haven’t Found Jesus

, , , , , | Friendly | July 8, 2017

(I am around eight or nine, at Sunday school. I have only read a few random chapters of the Bible. The pastor’s son had read it cover to cover several times. Everyone starts discussing what Jesus looked like, and I just listen at first. Everyone else is going mostly with the typical depiction: long, light brown hair, beard, wearing a “tunic or whatever it’s called,” being white, and having blue or brown eyes (this varied for people’s opinions). The pastor’s son tries to include me in the conversation because I haven’t said anything.)

Pastor’s Son: “What do you think he looks like, [My Name]?”

Me: *being the little know-it-all I was and still am* “Actually, based on the time period and geological location, he most likely had medium to dark brown skin, short dark brown or black hair, had brown eyes, no beard or a small one, and wore more of tribal-ish attire.”

Everyone Else: *awkwardly staring at me, some with mouths agape*

Pastor’s Son: *rolls eyes* “Next you’re going to tell us he wasn’t a Catholic.”

Me: “He wasn’t. He was Jewish and the first Christian ever.”

Pastor’s Son: *very, very rudely* “Well, you can go worship your black Jesus, and I’ll just stick with the real one.”

(Granted, not that much is officially known about his appearance, but shaming an 8- or 9-year-old for believing he looks different and race-shaming Jesus while in church? Come on!)

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