June 6, 2021

Dear Church Family,
Recently I received a note from Mary Tippner in response to a letter where I recalled some of the childhood games I enjoyed in my youth. She shared the games she played over 80 years ago; hopscotch, jacks, marbles, and dodge ball just to mention a few. At one time Mary was active in our church family. But age and giving up driving has kept her mostly at home with assistance from her “angel” neighbors.
She also shared her joy in riding her tricycle at age 5 and later 2-wheel bicycle. I remember the joy and sense of freedom a bicycle brought in my life. Suddenly the entire neighborhood was “mine” to explore. I tried riding Jameson Patchell’ s bicycle a couple of years ago – I found myself a little wobbly, but to be fair, the seat to pedals distance was made for his legs not mine. I probably looked like the clown at the circus trying to balance on a tiny bike.
I was struck at Mary’s memory of playing in her childhood and how most of have memories of playing as a child. And I wonder if we can remember the last time, we “played” at any particular game or activity? I loved roller skating as a teenager and can’t remember the last time I skated – probably in my early 20’s. Not sure if I would try skating again.
Playing is a crucial part of life. Especially to children as it helps them develop, work out understandings and learn new concepts. Play is also important to adults – games often helps our brains stay sharp, and there is a social element, too.
Recently my Monday night card group reunited after a year plus break due to Covid. I love playing cards with these guys – lots of laughter and snack food and mock portrayals of victimhood when we lose.
I remember the sense of loss I felt when Covid separated us…Monday’s would pass and I would feel like something was missing…an opportunity to be with friends and the sense of playing games.
I hope I never lose the desire to play…cards, puzzles, or even pretend on stage. And for now I will only reminisce about skating and other playful activities I once enjoyed. Today I remember that play is one of the sweetest experiences in this human experience. Thank you Mary, for reminding me of the child in all of us.
Many blessings,
Pastor Robert