advent journal: walking out


I love my wife for walking out of church this morning.

She began our worship, you see, by using a song they sang on the 2012 Freedom Ride to help us figure out a way to allow us room to deal with our grief over Sandy Hook in our service. So we sang,

I woke up this morning with my mind
stayed on children
Hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah

The moment was emotional and helpful. We moved on into the service and the children moved on to Sunday School at their appointed time. The service today was mostly music, culminating in our Pilgrim Choir’s offering of five or six pieces. The closing hymn of the morning was to be “Joy to the World.” About halfway through the next to last anthem, she walked out of the service. I could tell something was on her mind. As Eden, our music director offered some final words before our closing hymn, I heard a noise behind me. (I was sitting in the back today.) As Jeremy, our organist, began the introduction to “Joy to the World,” i turned to see all of the children coming through the door. They paraded down the aisle — with balloons — as we sang, “Joy to the World, the Lord has come . . . .”

When the carol finished, Ginger said, “This morning, our children are our benediction.” And then they came single file down the aisle again. leading us, first, to coffee hour and then on out into the world.

She didn’t plan it; she felt it. She knew we all needed it, so she did it.

I do love that woman.



  1. Spontaneous love is glorious. We all felt it even though we didn’t realize it was spontaneous. Thank you to our dear minister Ginger and her special husband Milt.

  2. How I wish I could have been in your church yesterday. We are eagerly anticipating seeing you in APPLETON next week. Thank you for your ministry to young people, from FW to Boston to the present. May the Peace of the Lord be always with you and Ginger.

    Julie Cochran

  3. I got a copy of your book through Speakeasy and I loved it. I also loved this post as a parent and a school librarian and a Sunday School teacher. We send our children up and on and we trust that they will be received as the blessings that they are. Such a tragedy when they are not.

Leave a Reply