Rev. Gary Shockley, Director of Church Vitality

suds-250It was a somewhat dreary afternoon. We were tired and walking around the city of Dublin looking for our next cup of Italian coffee (I really got hooked on that stuff!). We turned a corner and walked right into a swarm of bubbles. They were huge and colorful. And they filled the air. Children as well as adults chased them around a bit and squealed with delight when they popped on their heads. I finally noticed the source of such impromptu joy. A guy stood with a rope knotted in small circles suspended between two sticks. He dipped the knots into a bucket of sudsy water and voila!

Across the street, almost with intentional contrast, stood one of many street preachers we encountered shouting at the crowds passing by in scornful tone. In his mind he was sharing the good news. But it didn’t sound very good.

While the man with the bubbles said nothing as he dipped, lifted and waved his makeshift contraption in the air releasing dozens of human sized bubbles the street preacher continued his exhortation of hellfire and brimstone. There was an obvious “I’m not getting any closer than this” zone around the preacher. But people engaged the bubble man. I saw some reach down to dip their fingers in the suds. At one point he handed the rope thingy to a passerby and showed her how to make bubbles. Delightful.

Am I a shouter or a bubble-maker Christian? Which one will captivate the souls of the wearied travelers of this world?

Pass me the suds please!