The First Question
It was this past Friday, the last day of school, and I was standing in the bus, facing the rear, with my right knee in the driver’s seat and my right arm resting on the barrier between the seat back and the first passenger seat behind me.
The students were loading (all Kindergarten thru 4th graders), and I was watching the chaos when a young African-American boy, no more than 3rd grade, asked a question…
“Why you wear’n a vampire ring?”
Now, there are some questions that immediately make sense, and then there are others that make one stop wonder if he really heard what he thought he heard…
“What vampire ring?”
All I wanted was clarification, but I never expected the conversation that would follow.
“You ever watched a vampire movie?”
“Yeah,” I answered with a tilt of my head.
“They hold dat up to da vampires. Why you got dat on yo’r ring?” the boy asked.
“That’s a cross,” I replied. “It’s not a ‘vampire’ ring!”
“Yeah,” said the boy, “and so why you got dat on yo’r ring?”
The Open Door
As most of you know, it’s a big NO-NO for a Christian to openly share his faith on a public school bus. Well, it’s at least a big NO-NO for the bus driver to do it.
But what do you say when some kid asks the meaning for the cross on your ring? Do you let it go, or go for it?
I went for it!
After all, it was the last day of school! What are they gonna do, fire me? …Maybe.
“This is the ring I got for graduating from seminary. I’m a Christian, and this cross on my ring symbolizes the cross on which my Savior, Jesus Christ, died for the sins of the world. It has nothing to do with vampires!”
All I got in response was an “Oh.” Then the boy proceeded to pick on the kid next to him and forgot that I was even there.
The Second Question
So, the first question eventually led me to ask myself the second, saddest, most troubling question of the whole day…
“How can a child grow up in America and only associate the Cross of Christ with vampire movies and know nothing of the true meaning?”
Evidently, very easily. And it breaks my heart.
Ironically, when’s the last time you ever saw a vampire movie, a modern one, in which the Cross had any value at all? The last one I remember was Fright Night back in the 1980’s. So, not only did this kid not know the true significance of what was on my ring, if anything he probably thought it was nothing more than a joke.
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; – 1 Corinthians 1:23
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20