As I looked through the newspaper last weekend, I read the accounts of a protested military funeral in the same town as my denomination's headquarters.
You've certainly heard of the foolish people involved -- Rev. Fred and the Kansas Krew. OK, that's not the exact name, but it's already more respect given to them than they deserve. These are the folks who claim that the U.S. is being divinely judged for embracing homosexuality by having our servicepeople killed in Iraq. So in the illogical extension of their thinking Fred and the Krew show up at the funerals of soldiers who are killed in the Middle East to hold up stupid signs and shout about their misguided beliefs.
So that's what happened. RF&KK showed up outside the church to... whatever it is they think they're accomplishing. What a painful sound for the family grieving the loss of a young man who gave his life in service to his country -- without regard to anyone's position on homosexuality.
What caught my eye in the newspaper story was that there were a couple of motorcycle groups who decided to do something about all this. They parked their motorcycles on the street directly in front of Rev. Fred and the Kansas Krew and revved the engines. No one could hear the protesting Jayhawks. The surroundings weren't silent, but the air wasn't filled with the sound of hateful idiocy spoken, supposedly, as the voice of Christ's followers. Instead of the cries of the foolish reaching the mourning, the motorcyclists formed a barrier against the hatred.
What an interesting concept. Instead of argueing with someone who won't listen, cushioning the blow of those who are grieving.
Often we can't shield the hurting from the pains that life has in store for them. A hug and a casserole doesn't stop the pain of grief anymore than a dozen motorcycles revving their engines can quiet a crowd. But sometimes we have to be creative to offer that cup of cold water in Jesus' name.