Happy Leap Day everyone! The Canada Geese are flying north, honking as they go, a sure sign that winter is nearly over!
A couple of days ago I had the book release party for my book, Covenant and Community. It really put things in perspective for me.
It was generously hosted by a local book store, not a Christian store. In fact it is predominantly a pagan store, in the strict meaning of that word. Although the people who run it consider it an open minded store, and it carries books from a wide variety of perspectives, paganism in its many forms overwhelmingly fills its shelves. And the store has a very large gay/lesbian selection.
In fact one of the workers thought it good to warn me a few weeks before the party. "I don't know how much you know about what we carry here, it isn't exactly churchy."
Nonetheless, the bookstore offered to host a book release party for me and I accepted. They put a good deal of work into the preparations and advertising. I was pleasantly surprised at their energy and generosity.
And they did all of this simply because I am one of the community and they are proud to be part of the celebration when one in the community accomplishes something. Even a Christian.
For my part I invited many friends, and of course my whole church, some four or five hundred or so people. I also invited many of the local pastors.
No pastors came. Not even mine. A few friends and four people from my church. Only four, out of the hundreds there, people who have known me for a decade, watched my children grow up. I've taught many of their kids.
After five or six years of working on this book, while working two jobs and homeschooling my children (and many of theirs), I had hoped for a little more by way of church pride in it. But there is none. Not that I wrote it for the congratulations, but the silence is disheartening. When I told my pastor about it he neither asked the title nor the subject of the book. In fact he showed no interest at all in it.
And to underscore the generosity of the store, they didn't even want a cut from the few sales of the book. They did all of that for free.
Pagans believe in community.
Christians don't seem to.
All of which I think goes to show that the book needed to be written, and needs to be read.
So I am comforted.