Letter From British Columbia
way back, pew by pew, collecting money\r\nand checks, and then disappearing behind\r\nme. When the priest raised his\r\nhands and they swept back up tlie aisle to\r\nthe altar, one of the men had the boy on\r\nhis hip, the plate in his other hand. At\r\ntlie altar, tlie toddler's head snapped forward\r\nto watch as the priest took the offering,\r\nlifted it to eye level, and spoke in a\r\nloud voice. Tall candles in silver holders,\r\na golden cross, dark, decorative wood behind\r\nthe priest, stained glass above their\r\nheads: The little boy was enthralled. I\r\nthought of my own son, similarly captivated\r\nat a few months' age when a man in\r\na gown had taken him from his mother to\r\nnib a damp cross on his forehead. What\r\nare they up to? What is this all about? If\r\nthe man with the offering plate had spoken\r\nto him as they went forward, tlie little\r\nboy would have thought the ride mundane\r\nand restrictive. The man's silence\r\nand refusal to look at him made all the\r\ndifference.\r\nThe man who had spontaneously\r\npicked up the boy was wearing the only\r\nother tie in the room. Only a very poor\r\nChristian would have thought that there\r\nwas sometliing a little too prim about the\r\nman, a little too dapperâ€”my thoughts\r\nprecisely. Worse, I wondered if his hair\r\nwere dyed, tlien decided he was wearing\r\na toupee. Watching as he handled the\r\ntoddler with such skill, I regretted my\r\nwandering mind. Acting like a man, this\r\ndapper congregant had brought...
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