To Play. To Receive Love. To Love. To Give God Praise. – El Salvador 2014, Day 5

Today’s post is from Pastor Dell Sanderson.

This is Dell Sanderson, a tag along pastor from Morris, MN.

One of the things that struck me today was a small incident.  I’ve discovered that balloons are an automatic indication of play when I blow them up for kids (and for most adults for that matter).  In church at home we have a worship service where kids get to hit balloons around during a hymn.  They play and the adults join in.  At the end of worship the kids can take a balloon home.

_DSC1144When I broke out the balloons here most of the kids didn’t play.  They scrambled among themselves to get one and then held onto them tightly because they were afraid of losing it.  It reminded me that it’s hard to play, feel secure, laugh, and love freely when you are in a survival mode.  No doubt they are a reflection of their parents.

I coaxed a boy, Alexandro, to just play freely for about 10 minutes.  We batted the balloon around and found a way that we could press our faces against the opposite sides of the balloon and laugh at each other’s flattened face.  I think I heard God laugh too.

I’d like to think we can create windows of hope with children and families.  I’d like to think that we can help create a space where basic needs are met so children can play and adults can feel at peace in heart, soul, and mind.  But I’d also like to think we can learn that just as there is a scarcity of life when you don’t have enough there can be a scarcity of life when you have too much.

To play, to receive love, to love, and to give God praise; this is why we have stuff.


About Bishop Craig Schweitzer

The Rev. Craig Schweitzer, of Bismarck, was elected as bishop of the Western North Dakota Synod on July 17, 2020, in the first-ever digital Synod Assembly. A historic event, Schweitzer is the first bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to be elected in an online assembly. Bishop Craig Schweitzer began serving the Western North Dakota Synod-ELCA on September 1, 2020. He has always seen himself as an easy-going person who seeks to daily discover anew how God is present in his life and the world in which he lives and serves. Prior to service in the Office of Bishop of the Western North Dakota Synod, Bishop Craig served at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bismarck, ND as Music and Worship Minister (lay staff from 2002-2010), Associate Pastor (2010-2014), and Senior Pastor (2014-2020). Beyond his service in the church, he has an eclectic background that is a diverse collection of musical, educational, and business experiences ranging from live concert production and promotion to recording studios and live performance to music education. Throughout all of his professional and personal experiences, the Apostle Paul’s words to the church in Rome have been a guiding light that has kept him grounded in whatever work God was calling him into – “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7) Bishop Craig is a graduate of the University of Mary in Bismarck with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education and a Master of Science in Strategic Leadership. He also holds a certificate degree in Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM) from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA. He was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament on September 16, 2010. Outside of his life as Bishop, Bishop Craig enjoys reading, all music, a little golf, a cold beverage with friends, and intentional times of quiet. And, of course, spending time with his wife Wendy and their adult twin daughters Ilia and Taegan. View all posts by Bishop Craig Schweitzer

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