Feminine Protection: PG13

This article is rated PG13.

 

Seriously, kids might be traumatized. Probably should be PG18.

This has NO redeeming value and is quite possibly an attack on tact and decorum.

All participant names are excluded except Rev. John Baldwin, a partner in ministry and chaos.

 

In the early 90’s, John Baldwin and I took a group of fifty two 7-12 grade students on a choir tour in Colorado, performing GODSPELL. I remind you that these were the days before cell phones, GPS and google. It was not a good tour, it was a great tour!

One night, after a wonderful performance, we were staying in dorm rooms on a Colorado college campus which was empty for the summer. We enjoyed a meaningful devotion on lit tennis courts just outside the dorms. When all was done for the day, John and I herded the cats into the dorm, made sure all were in their assigned rooms, threatened each child severely if they crossed the threshold of their door, and went to bed. All lights were hopefully off.

There was a soft knock on my door and I got up to find a wonderful tour mom who grabbed my arm and pulled me into the hallway. “Tim, we have an emergency and you need to go to the store.” She whispered, but it was the loudest whisper I had ever heard. “You need to go now and pick up a box of feminine protection.”

I mistakenly questioned the request. “But why? With all of the girls on this trip don’t you think we have a dozen boxes already?”

I think she tightened her grip on my arm. “Tim, this young lady is having her first experience with this kind of thing and her mom isn’t here and she deserves her own box!”

I’m a slow learner. “Ok, I get that, but can’t it wait until tomorrow? Where am I going to find an open store at this time of night?”

“What? You think this event is just going to wait till tomorrow!!!!”

 

I put on a bit “more appropriate” clothing and grabbed John from the bed in his dorm room. Fortunately, John was ready for the adventure and good to go. He grabbed the keys from one of our rented vans and we started driving. We were in a town we had never been. We were on streets that refused to make sense. We had a map but it did not include grocery stores that stayed open late at night. We drove in expanding circles trying not to get lost. Finally, we found a store. We went in only to find one guy at the checkout and one guy restocking shelves.

You may be aware of this; however, John and I were surprised. The aisle with feminine protection is perhaps the longest aisle in the store. Who knew there were so many options? I had been married for over 5 years and I recognized the brand in my home but had no idea what to get for a 7th grade girl with her first encounter. We read the back of every box. Yes, we were tired and the jokes were tired as well. “What are we looking for. . .something that says ‘training pad’ or ‘my first period?’” The shapes, sizes, applications and choices were overwhelming. After reading every box, we still had nothing to buy.

“John, I’m going to ask the next person who walks within 50 feet for their advice.” I didn’t think the two guys working the store would be better options. Sure enough, a well dressed young woman walked around the corner just getting off her work shift. “Ma’am, you’re not going to believe this, but this young man and I are youth ministers and we have a predicament and would like your opinion.” I proceeded to tell here the whole story. To my surprise, she was totally in. She proceeded to give us a tutorial on feminine hygiene and explain all of the particulars and advantages of each and every one. I didn’t need to know. I didn’t want to know. I just wanted her to tell me what box to take back so I could go to bed. After the education class, we still had not made a decision. It seems that manufacturers had not considered our scenario or maybe it just didn’t make a difference anyway.

Finally, the young lady made a comment worth considering. “Well, this box has pretty blue and pink sparkles. Maybe she would prefer this one!” Done. I grabbed the box. Fortunately the clerk didn’t even make eye contact as I paid and he put it in a small brown paper bag.

John and I weren’t much for humor at this point. It took way longer than we dreamed. Fortunately, we only made a couple wrong turns before we got back to campus. I truly expected the dorms to be in bedlam without John and me to lay down the law. Yet, all rooms were quiet and all lights were off. Quietly, I tapped on the dorm door looking for my chaperone who cared so lovingly for her young girls. Her door opened a crack. Her arm reached out and grabbed the bag and while she whispered “thank you.” She closed the door. John and I high fived and went to bed.

 

The next morning started early. Each dorm room emptied out and the kids went to the dorm cafeteria for breakfast. This was great because each kid could pretty much get anything they wanted. After smothering my pancakes in syrup, I chose to sit at the table with my kind chaperone.

I whispered, “So, who is the recipient of my brown paper bag?”

“I’m not going to tell you.”

“What? That’s sexist! If I were a woman you would tell me.”

“You’re not.”

“But if any kid would have twisted their ankle or bruised their arm I would be sympathetic and hug them and tell them how sorry I am. How am I excluded from nurturing just because I’m a guy?”

“You don’t understand.”

I became indignant and my chaperone could tell. She pulled me in once close and told me the girl’s name.

“Thank you for sharing that with me. I won’t mention anything about the incident. I will simply sneak in and give her a hug without saying a word about the purchase.”

“No! You can’t! Don’t do anything!”

“Why? I can’t even pass out a hug!”

“Shhh. Get closer. How do I explain this? False alarm.”

I pulled back and did not whisper. “False alarm? As I understand it this is not a maybe kind of thing!”

“Look, Tim, we are almost to the end of our trip. The girl was running low on clean clothes. She borrowed from her best friend who brought more than enough. Last night, when she was getting ready for bed she changed her clothes and looked in the underwear and though she saw remnants of her cycle but the evidence was old and from her friend.”

I actually screamed. The sound only stopped as I realized my response and covered my own mouth.

I was punched in the arm. “Tim, you can’t say a word, not one word!”

It’s almost 30 years later and I’m saying a word. Sorry.

There is nothing sacred here. This is the kind of profane chatter to be avoided and recognized in my personal scripture; 1 Timothy 6:20. And yet, I’m almost compelled to relate this to scripture, well, because that is my previous chosen format. Unfortunately, the relevant scriptures in Leviticus and Ezekiel are cultural and problematic to say the least. At the same time I recognize that because I’m a guy, this subject is probably off limits. 

Yet God is good and there is one incredible story told in Matthew 9:20-22 and Luke 8:43-48 of a woman with incredible faith. She suffered twelve years with hemorrhaging and merely touched the hem of Jesus’ garment to find healing. It is a powerful story of a woman’s faith and life changing healing through Christ.

Luke 8:43-48 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Faith heals. I have experienced it physically, emotionally and spiritually.

In the opening welcome and introduction to this website, I shared the Scripture that inspired this online adventure, I Tim 6:20. This text is also the origination of the name; “Sacred Chatter.” However, my intent is not to be a singular voice. I invite your voice to be a part of the “chat” and I base this on another of my favorite Scriptures: Hebrews 10:24. “And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds.” I am considering how I can provoke love and good deeds in places beyond where I live. This is my attempt to enter into a Hebrews 10 conversation with you over social media.digitally. Now, I am interested in your feedback. Consider what provoking you can provide with your own Sacred Chatter.

What’s important to you? What really matters?

Add your voice in Sacred Chatter.

Love is ours to provoke. Good deeds are ours to sew.

That the wisdom of Hebrews 10 may flourish and grow.

Email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, they’re potential mediums for the Hebrews 10 plan.

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