Monday, September 18, 2006

Empty Promises and 11th Hour Angels

Our church is having a series of meetings that started this past Friday and run through next weekend. Normally, I'm pretty skeptical of such things and tend to stay away from them. But they're offering child care during the meetings and made a desperate plea for volunteers. And, since Robert's a deacon, they asked him to help pick up the offering and crowd control. So I decided I'd offer to help with the 4 to 6 year olds. Besides, I figured Cassandra would enjoy hanging out with the other kids.

Last week, we went to an orientation for the volunteers. About 15 of us had offered to help with the 4 - 6 year olds. The woman in charge of the program was thrilled to see us. She had someone all lined up to do a Nature Story every night, she said. But that person fell through two days before the meetings were to begin. Instead of having 10 nights taken care of, she had bupkiss. Would anyone be willing to help?

(This explains why I took a chicken to church on Saturday night, and a duck on Sunday. Monday's attraction will be goats, if I can orchestrate it correctly...)

To further spice things up, the piano player that had committed to playing for the 15 minute opening song service has not deigned to show. So my Extremely Rusty piano-playing skills have been put to use. (Every night I hope someone -- anyone -- shows up to make a repeat performance unnecessary.)

Now, I am the first to realize that sometimes life throws curve balls at you that make it impossible for you to keep a commitment. On the other hand, in this electronic age, if you cannot do what you've said you will, there is NO excuse for not calling with an apology, offering an explanation, and finding a replacement.

Every night, we've had over 60 kids to watch. The job is not difficult. It's actually kind of fun. They sing songs, listen to stories, eat a snack, and do a craft. But every night, we are reminded of the empty promises made by would-be volunteers, and grateful to the 11th Hour Angels that have stepped up to the plate so things run smoothly.