Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Bubble Man...

...that's me! There are so many things to tell you all about General Synod, but I think this might be my favorite. I was a volunteer at General Synod this time around. (You can't say "this year" about something that happens every two years, right?) I wasn't at the registration table, like the people in the picture, but I did get to wear a snazzy blue shirt. I was a greeter, and as such I found myself standing outside the Civic Center, smiling, answering questions... and blowing bubbles. It may seem like I was shirking my duty, but I really wasn't. I was greeting on the tail end of Synod, and most everyone knew their way around by that point. And blowing bubbles didn't keep me from greeting, smiling, and answering questions. Besides, bubbles make people smile. It is always amazing to watch people's reactions to bubbles. Children, of course, want to play with them themselves. (And I, of course, let them.) Some children were very eager to show me how to blow the biggest bubbles. Some simply wanted me to keep blowing bubbles for them to pop!

Youth are another thing altogether. And if you believe that, I've got a nice bridge to sell you. Granted, some are too cool to pay attention to bubbles, or at least try to be. I saw one young man, I'd venture to guess of Latin descent, purposefully striding down the street. He was wearing a backwards baseball cap, baggy jeans, and a tight white tank top with nothing but rippling teenage muscles beneath. A gust of wind took a whole flock of bubbles into his path, and he succinctly waved them out of his way. Then he caught me grinning at him, and dared to smile. Cool kinds aside, quite a few of the youth reacted immediately with a joyous cry of "BUBBLES!" Some even thanked me for the bubbles! And one brother and sister immediately set about the very serious task of attempting to catch the bubbles... on their tongues! One of them actually accomplished the feat!

Full grown adults seem to be the least likely to chase the bubbles down and pop them with their hands, let alone their tongues. But if you watch adults closely, they will smile. Sometimes it's only with their eyes, but they do. Sometimes they even give you a big grin, a wave, or a thumbs up! A few people proclaimed, "Hey, it's the Bubble Man!" and I would grin and say, "Yup, that's me!" or "Absolutely!" Some few adults would strike up conversations with me, and I would invariably tell them this story.

I was a Youth Delgate to General Synod 22, which was held in Providence, Rhode Island. (Geeze, that was in 1999... practically ancient history.) I remember sitting at a table during a plenary session, bored out of my ever-loving mind, when I looked across the hall and saw that some other Conference had one of those bubble guns and was sending streams of bubbles up into the rafters. It was amazing to see these very serious delegates, very seriously paying attention to the utterly boring meeting... until a bubble came floating by, and then suddenly a sense of awe and wonder and simple child-like happiness would overcome them. I've bought bubbles—and used them—at every Synod I've been to since.

Well, the sidewalk is pretty uncrowded when a mom and her daughter come around the corner. The mom is half a block away when she calls out to me. "You're the coolest volunteer I've seen so far! You're the only one who's had toys!" So we strike up a conversation, and I start to tell my bubble story. Only when I get to the point where I say, "some other conference" she can't contain herself any more.

"That was me! I had the bubble gun!"

So I made a cool connection and proved to myself, once again, that it really is a small world after all.

Be good to each other
Rev. Bubble Man

PS Go blow some bubbles someplace crowded, it's worth the time.


Elizabeth Catherine said...

Something moved Red Leggings profile stuff to the bottom of the page and I'd like it on the side. Do you know how to fix it?

Saint631 said...

HAHAHAHA i HAVE a blog.... check it out Saint631

Rev. Charley Eastman said...

Nice to hear someone having FUN at their annual event...

Rev. Josh said...

CHARLEY! Been thinking of you, and suddenly, there you are! Do you have my work e-mail? drop me a line!