Today’s Reflection from Father Dave

I have never closed a playground to children until now. I have locked gates at times because fresh cement or asphalt had been poured. While I do have some priorities, I have always believed that the grounds are for our children. That is the lesson I learned from Fr. Smith when he gave me my first job of mowing the ballfield at our parish church. The reason he gave a 10-year-old this job is a story for another time, but I have been working for the church since then.

Yet now the upper playground is locked and closed, in keeping with the spirit of this Shelter-in-Place. This slight obstacle did not stop two little ones yesterday during a downpour from trying out their homemade boats in the swale that runs by the rectory. Decked out from head to toe in raingear, they floated their wonderful creations down to the culvert, skipping alongside.

I knew there must be an adult close by, so I went to investigate, and there was dad. Now he was not dressed in the same protective gear, but he was enjoying everything about this scene as I was. He asked, “Is this okay?” All I could do was to thank him for bringing some joy and laughter to this deserted landscape, and then I went back inside. (Mom would be proud that I did learn to come in from the rain.)

It is difficult, this time of sheltering in place, as we put aside our needs to try and help the larger community. Some families have to learn how to live together 24/7; others struggle to live a solitary existence, and all live to protect one other.

I do not know how these little ones, along with dad and mom, are coping in day-to-day living. Yet, in that sliver of time, I witnessed a family take a difficult and trying period in our history, and without knowing it, create a joyful moment for a man who locked the gates.

I cannot wait for the day when the locks come off. It might be interesting to see just how far this padre can throw a padlock.

In Faith, Hope, and Love,

Father Dave