Hopefully no different than many of you, I am choosing to relax on this Thanksgiving holiday by reading.
Unexpectedly, and as tightly binding as the pure delight I have felt when finding passion flooding her eyes, one of the main character’s observations just now highlighted a fact I’ve cherished for many years.
Good books make you want to read more good books.
I settled into the bus’ bench-seat in a sideways, semi-twisted position so that my knees wouldn’t press into the back of the seat in front of me. I don’t know why, but I kept my backpack on–as did most of the kids that I now sat among.
“Who are you?” a head-gear-wearing small girl from an ancient world boldly asked.
The children filling out the surrounding benches, all bundled up for the cool mid-November school day, pretended to not be interested in this most odd of scenes.
“I’m a new fourth-grader,” I answered, dryly.
“No, you’re not. That’s a lie,” she promptly replied.
“Yes, I am,” I said. “It’s just that I am from another planet,” I began, and pointed the finger at the end of my long arm to somewhere far outside of the window of the yellow school bus. “And on my planet, the people grow big quicker,” I explained, looking her dead in the eye, waiting.
“People can’t live on any other planet,” she rebutted.
This comment unleashed great discussion among the previously silent audience.
“Well, my planet is farther out there than the ones you know about,” I clarified, proudly.
“I can name all the planets,” began the third-grader to my left–behind me, rather–“In order, starting at the sun.”
I thought, “This is fantastic.” But I only smiled on the inside.
“Mercury. Venus. Earth. Mars-”
Before he could finish, someone from my right–the front part of the bus, that is–added, interrupting, “-Pluto is NOT a planet.”
This began a near cultural revolution–albeit a bloodless, stationary one–as the children had now become engulfed in the great cosmic debate of their era.
All the while, the girl stared piercingly.
And that’s how my day at A-‘s elementary school began.
The rest of this post–save one humorous, colorful vignette–is meant to encourage you to likewise spend an entire day with your child at school. Here’s what I witnessed.
Teachers had no idea what to do with me. A-‘s own teacher didn’t even greet me. Neither the first time when I smiled robustly and waved a circular open-faced wave as I entered the building in the line with the children, nor the second time when I asked her where I could sit for the day as she came into the room.
She didn’t greet me. (Probably a cultural misunderstanding.)
Let me back up. H- is a bright girl. I work very hard to make that so. It has nothing to do with her school. Of this I am certain. The school begs to differ, of course. My proof is simply all the stupid kids not named H- that the school doesn’t “take credit” for.
Additionally, I want to say that every single time I talk to one of my peers, or one of my parents peers, they all tell me, “Calm down. The schools are fine. If you do a good job at home, H- will be fine.” And every time I hear this, my insides scream out, “BULLSHIT! The schools are not fine.” But no one ever listens. So I finally decided to see for myself which one of us was in error. I finally decided to see just what the schools were doing with our children all day.
To be clear, I went into this event expecting to hear eight hours, minus lunch and maybe two recess breaks, of utter nonsense being taught.
Suffice it to say, I admit now that my expectations were far afield.
It’s not that utter nonsense is being taught. It’s that nothing is being taught. Nothing. To spare you, I’ll just give you the highlights.
8:00. The day begins. That is, the students shuffle around–encouraged by the teacher.
Then a long process of retrieving things begins. It is hard to say how long exactly. All I know is children were in their chairs. Then children were out of their chairs. Then children were back near their chairs–but with a box of their things on the ground beside them.
Then it was time for two students to get the cart that carries the laptops (from somewhere across the room) and start taking it to “Reading.” After some amount of time I joined the rest of the class in lining up to leave this room for another room.
The process of changing rooms took no less than ten minutes.
In the next room, the teacher wore a microphone and low-talked. But this was amplified. My heart goes out to this noble hero as I prepare her nomination for CNN’s yearly award.
The next thing I know the clock says 10:00. I reflected that all that the students have done is listen to one picture book be read by the bionic woman. Oh, and they moved items from one place to another.
They also changed locations from the chairs to the floor and spent no more than “1-2 minutes at a time” picking books to read from the shelves across the room before walking back to their seats. Oh, and they got their laptops from the aforementioned cart and then put them back.
There, they watched a movie–a reward for finishing a big project. Then the teacher played a few students’ compositions on the piano, starting with A- seeing that I was there. Well, she played something on the piano. (In case you’re a lazy reader, nowhere in music class did anyone teach music.)
Gym. Classic sit-ups and push-ups, all done poorly and without any expectation of effort. “Use your ‘I Can’ statements, children.”
Then bowling basics were taught. The child nearest me wasn’t lunging like the teacher taught. To his delight, I broke character and reviewed it with him. For his own part, the never-yet-bowled A- wasn’t stepping with the right footwork. I had his friend help him.
The kid that I helped now limped as he apparently pulled a muscle.
Back to the classroom around 11:45. I’m getting hungry and confused as to why we’re not going to lunch yet.
In the classroom, more shuffling around. More retrieving items from cubbies, or the thing near their chair that they had earlier retrieved from their cubbies, or from this backpack like thing hanging on the back of their chair which holds folders and books. The teacher–or the woman called “teacher” or “Mrs. H-” by the students when people ask them who their teacher is–finally taught one long-division problem.
The clock strikes 12:20. Lunchtime. We headed to the lockers to get our lunches. And coats. What? Well, wait. Is it recess? No, it’s lunch then recess.
“Does everyone eat with their coats and hats on?” I asked one of the kids.
A- doesn’t need his coat. It’s going to be forty.
I put on my jacket.
In the cafeteria, Powerful looked confused as he isn’t sure if he should sit across from me, or at another table. I invited him to join us.
A- asked if he can have one of my cookies. I said, (Faithful Reader–can you guess?) “No. You have your own food and dessert.”
A- then challenged me to a staring contest. I accepted and then beat him by blowing into his eyes. Powerful then challenged me. Not one to back down, I turned and stared into the blankest expression yet painted onto man. Think canvas without Picasso. Think marble without Michelangelo. That’ll get you pointed in the right direction for recreating what I saw in this child’s eyes.
In other words, I knew I was in for defeat. Powerful just kept talking and chewing all the while he never blinked. He doesn’t seem aware that blinking is a thing. I lost, laughing all the while. All the kids were laughing. Then A- accepted Powerful’s challenge. The boys dueled it out. In an uncommon display of raw, primordial force, Powerful kept his blank stare positioned directly in my step-son’s eyes as he reached for his Heinz 57 ketchup packet thing and proceeded to bring it to his mouth and lick out the remaining remnants of the condiment. Powerful maintains his status as unbeaten. The list of contenders with any hope is blank, just like his stare. And probably just the way he likes it.
Recess ended at 1:00.
From 1:10 to 1:26 the teacher, Mrs. H-, taught the children how to discern between common nouns and proper nouns.
Then the students retrieved some composition book from somewhere and Mrs. H- lead a five minute discussion regarding which page the students should have open. Next, she had them fold the right side of the page over a bit to create a concrete margin. Not just one page needed this adaptation–all four pages. Do you follow me? She wanted the children to create a more clear margin on the paper–an area to not continue writing upon–by folding the page back upon itself. You’re still not getting it? Okay. Hold up the page a bit. Can you see the pink line that’s on the back of the page? No? It’s there. Turn the paper over and find the pink line. Okay. Now turn it back over. Can you see how you can faintly see it still? Okay. Thank you. Good job. Now fold the page along that line to create a margin. Right, just like that. But not just on one page. Do that for all four pages.
“Now write your story,” she finally said.
Eventually, they pulled out a textbook. Social Studies. They answered questions about glaciers, harbors, and the word “climate” was mentioned. (If you can believe it.)
Then they split up in pairs. After displaying that they had no idea what to do next, the teacher called them back. Then they split up in the SAME pairs. The two girls next to me learned about the Indians. I took a picture of the page.
Here’s what the textbook said, “In most Native American villages in the Northeast, people shared the land and its resources. They hunted in the forests and fished in the nearby waters. People gathered wild foods, such as roots, nuts, and berries. They also worked together to grow corn, beans, squash, melons, and other crops.”
Under the heading, “Joining Together” the paragraph begins, “At times, Native American groups in the Northeast fought each other. Iroquois legend tells how two leaders came up with a plan for peace.”
If you’re skimming, stop and take note here. The Native Americans shared, worked together, and developed plans for peace.
Okay. Skim on.
I forgot. Sometime before lunch there was also a twenty-minute trip (thirty if you count the line up and shuffle around time) to the most pathetic classroom-turned-library I have ever seen.
At this point you would be right to ask, “What are kids who no one is teaching how to read doing in a library?” Good question. One of them built on a puzzle that was started by someone in an earlier class. Actually, that’s not entirely true. One kid talked to any comers while holding a puzzle piece and sitting at the table which had a puzzle whose border was already completed.
I’m tired. And I was tired at this point. Between 1:00 and 3:00 Mrs. H-, the teacher, stood in front of the class for maybe 30 minutes total. Add another 15 minutes for the amount before lunch.
A- and I walked home.
Aristotle made his students complete Euclid’s “The Elements” using only a straight edge and a rudimentary compass.
The early school houses in America had only slates, books, and desks.
On Monday each child was responsible for at least 20 folders or books (not to mention two or three container/cubby things) filled with ungodly amounts of colored paper and worksheets that will ultimately end up in the garbage. Like, I mean to highlight that the folders and their million sheets of paper–even the half sheets that reduce waste–will be discarded by the end of the year or shortly thereafter. In other words, there will be no lasting evidence that these kids knew nothing. There will be no proof that they were taught nothing.
Don’t misunderstand me. The little part of the day where the children crossed the classroom in pairs to find a spot to read about how legendary Native Americans are worthy of teaching the ocean-voyaging white devils a thing or two about cooperation was really not the deal-breaker to me. Really, it wasn’t. It was like five minutes of eight hours.
Here’s the bottom line: I’m a pilot. We’re rare, I know. But we like to learn and do learn. Or else we die. If you’ve been following the 737 Max story, you know what I’m about to tell you. The pilots crashed because they didn’t learn. No one taught them–some say. “Poor training.” One thing that they weren’t taught–it seems–is decision making. Compartmentalizing. Task management. Fly. The. Aircraft.
Maintaining focus is difficult for everyone, let alone maintaining focus when all the aircraft’s emergency indications are demanding your maximum and undivided attention at once. Our children are being given a million MASTER WARNING and MASTER CAUTION lights. Add a million ADVISORY lights and it doesn’t take a pilot to guess the result. They will crash.
Mrs. H- can breathe easy now. Neither A- nor his dad will be returning.
This one is long overdue–not for the reading, but for the writing of it.
I have a step-son now. He was not born in America. He does not know much about the West.
A few days ago he asked me, “Why does everyone talk about World War Two so much?”
I said, “Huh?”
“You just said, ‘World War Two.’ The other day at school my teacher said, ‘World War Two.’ Why is everyone saying ‘World War Two’ so much?”
Yesterday we were in the car for long enough that I finally took the time to answer him.
“Well, what do you know about how many people are in our town?” I began. I quickly and subsequently learned that the boy is not quite a census expert. So I remedied this as best I could. Then I let Siri do the persuading.
“Hey Siri!” I began, to his delight. “How many people died in World War II?”
“Do you see now?” I asked the boy.
He says he does, but he probably doesn’t. That’s the way these things go.
But there’s something I haven’t taught this young man. Well, it’s more accurate to say that there’s something that I haven’t spoken aloud to this young man. In truth, I’ve been teaching him this thing, and nothing but this thing, since he moved in. I breathe this thing. I eat and drink this thing.
This thing: there’s a deeper, more hidden reason everyone talks about World War II. The reason is because we were the Nazis. Humans were the Nazis. Not corporations. Not aliens. Not AI. Not the poor. Not the rich. Not those with guns. Not those without guns. Not the Muslims. Not the Christians. Not the Blacks. Not the Whites. Not the immigrants. Not the healthy. Not the sick. Not Trump. Not Obama. Not the LGBTQ+. Not the Non-Binary. Not Antifa. Not #IMWITHKAP. Not Greta. Not Climate Deniers. Humans were the Nazis.
The reason everyone talks about World War II is because we were the Nazis. And we cannot forgive ourselves.
But worse, we believe that if we teach what happened, if we just talk about what happened, then we believe it will not happen again.
That, of course, is simply not true. To be crystal clear here, George Santayana’s eloquent sounding sentiment, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” is dead wrong. He was perniciously wrong.
So I’m raising my step-son (and H-) with this in mind–constantly. I do nearly everything with one singular goal in mind: teach him to be a man. That is, I teach him to think for himself.
We were the Nazis. But I was not a Nazi. And LORD help me, I will never be a Nazi. Instead, I am a man.
Moreover, I will not let the voices of doubt win when it comes to raising a boy to become a man.
I’m talking now to all of you who think it is cruel to make a child work on handwriting. Cruel to make a child read aloud until they get it right. Cruel to punish a child for disobedience. Cruel to create a standard and hold a child to it. Cruel to keep a child from TV and YouTube. Cruel to teach a child that children do not boss adults. Cruel to have a bedtime schedule. Cruel to make them eat the same meal everyone else at the table is eating. Cruel to make them finish their food entirely–and their milk. Cruel to make them do chores. Cruel to say “no” to a child–every single time they ask for something stupid like more dessert, more time, or any and everything they ever see at the store.
I’m raising a man. I’m not trying to have a friend. And I’m not trying to please you and your gay sensibilities. We were the Nazis! Do you get it? “We” were the Nazis. The only thing that can defeat “We” is “Me.” I won’t join you. And I promise you that my adult children will surely feel a shame second only to the one which comes from awareness of having sinned against their maker, if they find themselves joining the “we” on some distant day.
Enough about me. What about you? What about your sons and daughters? Are they going to come after my children some day?
For an Indian Guides event, when I was around five years old, my dad helped me build a pinewood derby-esque car with which to race other children’s entries. When we arrived at the “Y” we learned that our car was far outside of the weight limit. Next thing I knew, some man with a drill was using a very large drill bit to hollow out the bottom of the car.
My mom once took the silverware right out of my hands when I proved incapable of accomplishing the feat of cutting my chicken at dinner.
During a basketball game–B-League–my opponent turned around and handed me the ball, mistakenly. I said, “Thank you,” and proceeded to head toward our basket as fast as I could run.
The local go-kart track and arcade in my childhood town was called, “Malibu Grand Prix.” One time I pronounced “prix” “priks” as I begged my mom to take me there. She laughed at me for what seemed like forever and only when my tears ran dry did she tell me why. (Or that’s how I remember it.) Years later she still brings up the phonetic faux pas when her mood turns fiendish.
H- was attempting to mix the cookie dough ingredients together, standing on a chair. She was probably three years old. The butter was still pretty hard and that led to some of the dry ingredients flying out of the bowl and onto the counter. I decided to take over for a bit.
When on a childhood vacation on a working sheep ranch in Wyoming, I accompanied the man on an early morning hunt. As we summited the hill from which he hoped to achieve and maintain the advantage over costly coyotes and foxes, I did not stoop low with him. He turned and very quickly motioned for me to join him down low.
Same man, same vacation. We were shooting a bow-and-arrow. My younger brother was having his turn with the instrument. With the arrow half-cocked, he turned toward the man to better hear the instruction and the man ducked out of the path of the would-be projectile faster than I had previously suspected he could move.
I don’t remember the exact details or even the precise date of the event, but there, at least once, was a time when I watched someone do something very slowly. Rather than wait on their laziness and incompetence, I told them they could take a break and that I’d finish up.
There was a pizza party. Most people had had their fill. I asked everyone if they had any problem with me finishing the remaining slices as I raised the lid of the already half-open box.
I wrecked my car during a snowstorm. The tow company had it in their lot. I told them that I didn’t need it anymore and was just going to donate it to Colorado Public Radio as they were always advertising that unwanted cars were a great way to donate. The man beyond the glass promptly informed me that he took donations, too. That seemed easier and I really wasn’t that philanthropic. So I assented. Then, as my friend and I drove away, an opportunity for promptness presented itself to me and I vowed to think before acting from that moment forward.
In my dying breath, that is, if my time with you had been animated with breath of my own and not simply with your imagination, in other words, if I had had a dying breath, then I like to think I would’ve thanked-
What? No! Not the acorn, never! Not that lifeless lump. Why do people always focus on the nut? I’ve always said: The nut is not the meat!
No, no, no. But where was I?
Ah, yes. I remember.
If I could have thanked anyone–call to mind that I am a character of fiction and it is quite impossible for me to offer gratitude in its proper sense–but I’m saying, if I could have, you know, hypothetically, thanked anyone, then I would thank Henny-penny.
She was a rare bird. And without her-
Well, without her, I guess I just wouldn’t have anyone to thank.
It isn’t polite to speak aloud what we privately think. So we write.
Greta Thunberg accused, “How dare you!” in her latest tantrum. For what else can her speeches be called? I can think of many places passion is welcome. The bedroom, the sports field, the battlefield, the Russian novel, the frontier, the pulpit, the wave, and the peak–just to name a few.
But the World Stage? Nope. It’s not appropriate. It’s uncivil. It’s disrespectful. It’s childish. Instead, simply deliver your message and sit down. If I adduce that your words have merit, I’ll take my time to consider your opinion. But when you bring passion to scientific discourse it makes me doubt that you have taken the appropriate amount of time to gather the data. Abstract truths are awful boring.
Greta then said, “We will never forgive you.”
Here Greta reveals her only disability. She is nearsighted. Normally this imperfection is not fatal, but considered in the light of that old sinner, Cain, and his near-sightedness, the problem is fatal indeed.
Greta’s disability would be ironic if she spoke only one time and only to her peers in speech class. But she’s on the world stage advocating the most hateful philosophy mankind has yet developed. And to applause. Have we no shame?
One thing Greta said that shows hints of her available redemption is that “humans” may not be able to fix the problem. Amen, Sister. Humans? No. Jesus? The risen lord? Yes. It’s going to be okay, child.
We able-bodied folks need to decide how to handle the Greta’s of the world. I see two ends to the continuum of response. We can debate what “1.5 degrees” means. Or we can win the long game by forgiving each other as Jesus commanded.
What Greta is doing is forgivable. She’s just a child after all. But, like Cain pleading with the LORD after blood-soaked dirt found its voice, she probably won’t feel the need for forgiveness until after blood has been shed. Until then, we wait.
Today I went to the funeral of a man whom I wish I had known.
He appeared to have been perpetually tickled while on this side of terra firma, which is to relate that the images presented on screen and the tales told by friends and family alike were not only composed of smiles, but passed on smiles, promoted smiles, and made me smile.
Up until today my main thought about this pilot pertained to the crash and, “Why’d he die?”
Death, however, is so final that after today’s service my main thought is, “The shining sun sure seems brighter today.” Followed by, “I’d sure love to be able to hug H- right now–with a little extra squeeze to boot. Does she know, really know, that she is loved?”
My mind floods, races, rages. It swarms, billows, fills. I imagine, invent, infer. Thoughts appear, linger, fade, and grow. Then the coolness of the last drops of my morning coffee passing over my tongue reminds me that it was all most likely the caffeine and I am merely one mortal making his way along his path.
But, but! For those glorious and intoxicating moments of fullness, I do dream. Here is my dream for today.
I want you to be confident in your belief that Jesus is Lord. And that Scripture, the Bible, is coherent, true, and worth daily study–daily.
Today’s tip is inspired by my own morning study of Isaiah’s words and oracles.
We join Isaiah as he has finished asserting “bad things man, bad things.”
“Give ear and hear my voice, listen and hear my words.
“Does the farmer plow continually to plant seed? Does he continually turn and harrow the ground?
“Does he not level its surface and sow dill and scatter cumin and plant wheat in rows, barely in its place and rye within its area?
“For his god instructs and teaches him properly.
“For dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is the cartwheel driven over cummin; but dill is beaten out with a rod, and cummin with a club.
“Grain for bread is crushed, but he does not continue to thresh it forever.
“Because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually damage it, he does not thresh it longer.
“This also comes from Yahweh of hosts, who gives wonderful counsel and great wisdom.”
Isaiah uses obvious farming techniques to clarify the fact that Yahweh is doing nothing abnormal, nothing unpredictable, nothing incomprehensible when he relents in time for there to be a remnant after judging his people.
Jesus, likewise, (not to mention all other inspired biblical speakers) uses obvious aspects of life on planet earth to clarify his points. I’m thinking specifically of the “rain falling on the righteous and unrighteous” moment of the Sermon on the Mount.
Finally we have Paul clarifying that if there’s no resurrection of Jesus, there is nothing into which to put our faith. Do you see why he says this? Why he must say it?
This is how the truth works.
But not everyone agrees. Some folks want you to believe in them or their words before the event happens. That is fine, but it is no longer truth. It is speculation. It is unbiblical and unchristian. And it is usually depressing (I’m thinking irreversible climate change) and expensive (here I’m thinking of the many of you who financially support all the motivational speakers whose promise involves the future being better).
Here me clearly this day, Christian: You’re right to trust in the god who makes “righteousness the level”.
I don’t want to motivate you. I want to remind you. Jesus is Lord and Judge. “Cease to do evil. Learn to do good.”
(And read your Bible everyday.)
“Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and in the presence of all the people who were standing in the house of Yahweh, and the prophet Jeremiah said, ‘Amen! May Yahweh do so; may Yahweh confirm your words which you have prophesied to bring back the vessels of Yahweh’s house and all the exiles from Babylon to this place.
‘Yet hear now this word which I am about to speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people!
‘The prophets who were before me and before you from ancient times prophesied against many lands and against kingdoms, of war and of calamity and of pestilence.
‘The prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes to pass, then that prophet will be known as one whom Yahweh has truly sent.'” (My italics.)
A few posts ago, I shared that I was on my third reading of Jeremiah. One of the intriguing parts of Jeremiah is its candid accounts of prophet battles. The above is taken from the middle of one such scene. I used to think that Israel’s prophetic history was clean. But reading it for myself has revealed that it was anything but clean. This Hananiah claimed to be speaking the Word of Yahweh, no different than Jeremiah. Moreover, the account has Jeremiah acknowledging this fact.
So how does Jeremiah suggest, in front of all the people, that their dispute be resolved? He says to wait. But in his suggestion is the subtle claim that Hananiah should be able to see that when involved in prophesying, one sides with true prophets when one prophesies against earthly powers. Instead of this, Hananiah had just prophesied earthly peace, you see?
But here’s the tricky part. Jeremiah wasn’t suggesting that earthly powers needed to be exchanged by other earthly powers that would do better, no. He was declaring, like the true prophets of Yahweh who came before him, that the people of Israel had disobeyed Yahweh for so long that Yahweh would not stop the oncoming judgement. (War, calamity, pestilence.)
Implied in this entire scene, and Jeremiah’s claim, is the fact that Yahweh is running the show and that Yahweh expects obedience.
On this Independence Day I am thinking of this passage because it is so very different from what we hear and say today. Our prophets, the 20, all claim to be speaking against the man, capital T. But not one of them measures up to the prophet bar Jeremiah set. This, of course, is no surprise. The 20 would hardly announce themselves as prophets of Yahweh. And yet half, and perhaps more than half, of the voting public in our country is behaving like the Israelites who apparently ate up and drank up Hananiah (as indicated by their lack of repentance) and his declarations that peace was on the way.
The next president will not bring peace or liberty. You’re a fool if you believe he or she will. And Jeremiah knew this. That’s why his words are worth reading on this day.
The question that remains is do you know who has the power to bring peace and liberty?
It was the fall of two years ago, putting me shortly after my thirty-sixth birthday. I was in the midst of some men who were mostly fifty plus years old.
The particular interrogator I faced carried his ninety-seven years venerably. He was respected by all, by which I mean all jumped at the opportunity to serve him–even the seventy year olds who were twenty years his junior. Most often, if the short time I spent with him indicated anything, the service rendered was simply bringing a blanket to keep away the cold.
His topic of inquiry: Origins. Beginnings. Genesis.
He asked me because he had heard me say that I studied such things.
I didn’t know what to say.
Reader, don’t misunderstand me. I had my answer at the ready. Yet I was quieted by the emotional aspect of the stated query. This elder is about to meet his maker. Possibly that weekend. And he’s not only respecting me enough to see what I’ll say (though I have always suspected he’d cast a fool’s line), he’s maintaining his tight grip on the joy of investigation.
The content of his question eludes my memory, but it was something to do with the peoples of earth that the Bible characters met and from where they spawned. I told him, “I don’t know.” But I went on to tell him, “No one knows. Moses didn’t tell us. And we should be very careful when listening to someone who makes a claim otherwise.”
Today I will add that this, as with Paul’s comments on another profound topic within Beginnings talk, “This mystery is great.”
I couldn’t tell if he approved–of either my answer or me.
My reason for sharing this experience here is to give a glimpse into what I think is one of life’s pleasures which is unique to Christianity.