The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. Unlike the Cedars of Lebanon it has no intrinsic majesty to call its own, but it grows into stumpy little bushes through the cracks in the pavement and other unexpected places.
For the last month or so we have been in danger of losing our building in Quebracho Herrado, and with the project only just about air-borne anyway, I have been engaging in something like passive resistance; passing people on to talk to someone else who is never available, and not quite ever getting round to shifting my furniture. However, I was finally backed into a corner and agreed that we would vacate, in exchange for being moved to another (smaller) room and a corresponding reduction in rent.
In the end I thought it might not matter as maybe we would end up closing for the summer anyway, since most of what I have been doing is helping kids with the homework or on subjects where they are behind at school. In addition, design flaws in the school system here mean that kids don’t actually get picked up until nearly the end of the school year, when they are in danger of having to repeat the year and then everyone goes into panic mode trying to catch the child up in a couple of weeks with the stuff that they haven’t understood for the previous eight months, which means for my purposes I might not actually have any kids or their parents banging on my door until possibly next October or so. All of which made me think that maybe my future usefulness in Quebracho might need a rethink, and that the issue of the room was just a compounding discouragement.
So I shifted into the new room which is a small ex-kitchen with a door onto the road, next door to my bigger old place, which has now been turned into a corner shop. I left the door open so that the couple of kids I was expecting to show up would see where I was. However, the shop is quite a popular place, it has been in the village for several years in its old location, and plenty of people are continuing to patronise it in its new home. And several of those were curious about who I am so they came in to see. As well as the couple of kids who would have shown up anyway, I ended up running an impromptu kids’ club, distributing the drawing and colouring equipment around the juvenile bodies who had distributed themselves around the table and floor, and in the middle of it all, sat a middle aged lady, the owner of the shop in fact, who had brought some English work she needed help with. So now I’m rethinking how we might capitalise on the new location in order to run some activities for Christmas and the summer holidays.
And the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.