I noticed the drawing when I took my dog for a walk. I paused to inspect it. The picture was artistically lacking and anatomically inaccurate. But it was no doubt phallic. Discarded in the grass lay the responsible stick of chalk. I knelt down, like Jesus in the sand, and added a few lines.
From a crude phallic sketch, I produced a common delivery truck. In a few swift strokes, I took back both my daughters' chalk and the sanctity of my sidewalk. Call this conversion. Call this redemption. Call this a victory over juvenile temper and the forces of evil.
As a pastor, I regularly commend fighting against immoral behavior. The categorical word for bad behavior is sin. It includes both a practice (drawing penises up and down Main Street) and bad posture (defying God and victimizing neighbor). This call to fight sin (and live morally blameless) in a sin-saturated world creates a pastoral tension. The demand is impossible, but necessary.
- I will not overcome evil... but I should fight it.
- I will not achieve perfection... but I should strive.
- I will not redeem the world... but I should clean up my sidewalk.
Until His return, God's people are called to be symbol of conversion, redemption, and evil overthrown. A good starting place for our calling is the sidewalk lining our streets.