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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

July 9, 2010

BEFORE THE PARADE PASSES BY

It is hard to resist the opportunity to watch a parade.

When we lived out in Washington State, we would go to the summer parade in a nearby town. This was a logging area and about half of the parade consisted of huge logging trucks with logs. They would rumble through the town and honk their horns. The other half of the parade was trucks and truckers. The local high school marching band would parade down the main street. People would throw candy as the kids sat on the curbs of the town.

Good times.

My hometown never had parades as a kid but over the past years I have returned to see Memorial Day parades which have lots of local high school bands, lots of fire trucks (all blowing their sirens). Lots of trucks and truckers and a few politicians. Candy is thrown. The flag is honored.

Recently I had the opportunity to see a parade in Columbus. The parade is a bit different than most as it is all silliness. Seeing the way the world is today, a bit of silliness is a pretty good thing. People need the opportunity to laugh and to loosen up. I and daughter and son-in-law were at the beginning of the parade route. The very beginning. It winds around downtown for a bit and then enters High Street for several blocks before disbanding.

So there we were at the very beginning. The participants did their best to be silly and lighthearted; the crowd did their best to be entertained and show their appreciation for the creativity of the parade participants.

But it didn’t seem to work. Maybe it was too hot. Maybe the parade participants were trying too hard. Maybe the crowd on the sidewalk was expecting too much. It was all nice and light hearted; but like some Broadway shows or some kisses…it lacked passion all the way around.

I was glad to see the parade and so was everyone else but, once the parade passed by, that was it. Few thrills. So we left to find a restaurant (and air conditioning), and both could be found over on High Street a few blocks away where the parade was just now marching along, as it did 20 minutes ago past us.

But when we got to High Street, it was a whole ‘nother world. The crowds were huge, they lined the street and sidewalks…and they laughed, shouted and cheered on the people in the parade. The people in the parade, in response to the electricity generated by the crowd, were at their entertaining-best. The performers were alive and pumped.

This could not be the same parade I had seen 20 minutes ago just two blocks away. But it was. Like any performance or sports event or dinner party or even a worship service; sometimes things just seem to be more alive depending on the disposition of both spectators and participants.

You can be certain that next year I will position myself on High Street.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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