by JESSI POPE
Setting is Cavalier skating rink. Early 2000s. I’m not yet a teenager and still unaware of the terror of being seen in public with a parent, so mom has taken me to skate night. You see, I loved skate night. The music, the lights, the skating. I also loved the competitions the staff put on in between skating sessions. Limbo, racing, and of course (of course) the chicken dance. After each competition, the winner would receive a glow stick. To my elementary-school self, this was the ultimate prize. But I would never be crowned with a glow stick because my shyness made me a happy observer of these games. Until I went to skate night with mom. I fought as best as I could, but found myself doing the chicken dance as my mom stood behind me, master puppeteer, tucking my arms into the shape of wings. The whole experience was redeemed as the referee, glow stick in hand, left the circle of willing dancers and skated toward the edge of the rink where my mom and I were standing.
I find I admire Zaccheaus as he tosses aside pride and fear of rejection as he climbed the tree to see Jesus. In this vulnerable place, Jesus saw him and invited him in. His seeking was met with a great reward, from a Savior who, I daresay, frequents the edge of the skate rink, the corner of the cafe, the back of the bus, and the tops of trees.