My First Boyfriend
My first boyfriend was an evangelist
I mean, I didn't think of him that way at the time
I met him at 7:30 p.m. on December 9, 1965
I suppose it could have been 8:30, Central, after all...
I don't remember if there was Daylight Savings time
I was seven, just a little blonde girl
Shorter than the Minnesota snow drifts
I walked by on the way home from school every day
I might have had a crush on a little boy named Johnny
The year before, in kindergarten
That doesn't matter. It's my evangelical boyfriend
That matters. You know him -- he has a really mean big sister
And carried around a blanket, he sucked his thumb then
I didn't care. So did I.
For a long time, he was my Christmas boyfriend.
I looked forward to seeing him standing alone
On that stage, evangelizing.
Well, I didn't know that word. He told a story
About shepherds, angels, and a baby
A year after I met him, I would have sat in that
Stupid pumpkin patch with him
(c) 11 December 2015
When I thought about this story on my way to church today, it came to me. For years now, I've been writing papers about my "call" to ministry, recalling my days of sitting in nature with a book or my journal, knowing that I was not alone, that I was part of something greater. Something ineffable, though the only name I knew It by was, "God." I've written about mountaintop experiences, a sense of connection with All-That-Is, and the constant sense that I was somehow destined to share about it, write about it, talk about it, learn about it. All the times I've reviewed this continuous sense of call, I could never pinpoint an exact moment when it began. This morning, I realized that this is it. That first night sitting in the living room cross-legged, leaning forward on my elbows, thumb in my mouth, watching Linus present his homily.
I liked Linus. I thought that if he were a real boy, I'd maybe marry him. He was cute, spiritual, and intelligent (that whole Great Pumpkin thing notwithstanding). He was everything I wanted in a boyfriend. More importantly, he convinced me, and from that night forward, my favorite account of the night Jesus was born was the story he told - Luke 2:8-14.
It's a beautiful story, isn't it?
Merry Christmas, Everyone!