As a child in Sunday School
I was puzzled by our lessons.
Our teacher, a smiling, matronly woman
would illustrate her talks
with cut out figures of shepherds,
angels, sheep, Jesus, etc.
which she would place on a
large, green felt panel.
These figures were challenging for me.
Why was everyone so clean and neat?
Why were the animals so cute?
Why were the people all white caucasians?
News photos I saw in the papers
presented a different image.
Maybe, I thought, Christians
don’t like to look at dirt and grim,
or people who looked different from them.
Or maybe they were just really good
at cleaning things up and that’s OK.
But what about those who looked different?
Where did they go? Maybe they
left early or worked the night shift.
My teacher said her figures
couldn’t show everyone,
just the most important.
But her answer didn’t help.
It only made me feel that
something phoney was going on here.
What was being covered up and why?
I still ask those kind of questions,
but so far no one seems to have
any good answers so I keep trying.
Maybe someday I’ll understand.