Summer Reading

Posted by Scott Foster on

We’ve been living in Madison for a couple months now. We’re settled in. Discovering all the short-cuts to avoid the stoplights and traffic on Main. Enjoying the local flavors—Bo’s been serving Thanksgiving at the Waverly every Thursday for close to 35 years. Come for the food, stay for the abuse. Sloppy Joe’s from CJ’s. Poor Herbies is like home because of the chicken wings and Judy reminds me of my mom.  

I ride my bike as often as possible. You can do that in Madison. It counter balances most of that restaurant sampling. We’re starting to get the names down (don’t stop wearing the name-tags!) And plans are being made for the Fall.

Rally Day—September 11. Scott-a-palooza—September 18. New pastor installation—September 25. Bottle Hill Day—October 1. Confirmation Class Kick-off—October 16 (more details coming).

So, it’s busy even though it’s Summer. Like, it’s gonna be Labor Day tomorrow and Christmas next week. Seems like it’s moving at lightning speed, but not really. We’re just getting things on the calendar, and there’s time to enjoy the ride.      

A couple years ago, NPR ran a feature about some school system somewhere fighting over Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn again. You know the issues. Should kids be allowed to read the offensive “n-word” in class from the original texts? Or, should we sanitize it and pretend that slavery never happened? I say, “What better way to have the conversation?”

Anyway, it prompted me to download the books to my Kindle in their original unabridged versions (only a buck apiece, by the way). When was the last time you read Huck and Tom? Have you read Huck and Tom? Do it.

 Immediately, the race issues then versus now jump off the page, but let’s be honest—Black Lives Matter is as necessary as ever to address the continuing racial disparities. And as complicated as that is, Huck’s and Tom’s time was a simpler time.

It cracks me up again to read how Tom takes a lickin’ from Aunt Polly for breaking the sugar jar when it was really his half-brother Sid. But, Tom gets the lickin’ ‘cause of crimes he may—or may not—have committed when Aunt Polly didn’t catch him.

How about Tom’s con job—convincing all his friends that white-washing the fence on a Saturday is fun? He actually sells them chances to paint! They pay him all kinds of serious little-boy-bounty like fish-hooks, marbles, shards of broken colored glass to see the light through, bits of string, dead rats and what-not.

Then, Tom takes all that loot to Sunday School and trades it for tickets that you are supposed to earn for memorizing your Bible verses. He gets so many tickets that lazy ol’ Tom Sawyer—who can’t put three Bible words together, let alone a whole verse—earns himself a Bible prize enough to impress Judge Thatcher (the father of the pretty blond Becky Thatcher, the new apple of Tom’s eye…)

It’s all well and good until Tom has to cough up the answer to the question of which are the first two disciples to be called. His answer? “David and Goliath.”


So listen. It’s Summer. Slow down. Read a book in the shade. Take some time. Simplify. Relax. Sleep in. Go a-swimmin’! Go fishin’! Put the chores off and take your lickin’ from Aunt Polly.

It’s worth every lick, ain’t it?

Grace & Peace,


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