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Show How You Stand

Posted by Deborah Neisel-Sanders // February 11th 2014 // 30 Days of Love // no comments

30DoL_Day_25_Chalk_it_UpIt wasn’t long after we were first married that my husband August and I went to visit my brother and his family. August was a bit nervous about my nieces and nephew liking him – they ranged in age from around 9 to 14, so he was probably sensible to be concerned.

Despite having a lovely trip and enduring much good-natured teasing (a sure sign you’re “doing it right” with young folks), as we got in the car to return home he expressed how he still wasn’t sure he’d been a hit. As our car backed out of the driveway, it revealed that they had chalked the entire surface with drawings and sayings: “WE <3 AUGUST,” and “UNCLE AUGUST IS THE BEST!” He beamed, I teared up, and we had a wonderful if long ride home.

It struck me right then how something so simple can have such a huge impact. I had always considered chalk as just childhood hopscotch-board material, but it can deliver a big punch, too. (Remember recently the guy who chalked phrases against the big banks on the sidewalk outside one of their branches and they arrested him for it? Still think it’s just for kids?)

I love a “low-tech” solution and picking up some chalk at the drugstore and using it on a sidewalk or parking lot is such an easy way to express your views. It doesn’t take committees, picketing signs, or a march permit – all it takes is a few dollars, a few minutes, and some clever or heartfelt slogans. And it’s appropriate for all ages. (Hey, if you’re older like me you can always ask someone to help you back up to your feet when you’re done!)

It’s also a great way to communicate an idea or theme to your entire congregation – after all, the walkway in front of the door is a place everyone has to pass by to get in on Sunday morning. So consider “chalking on the side of love” this weekend! You’re guaranteed to make a big splash and generate some big smiles.

Visit Day 25 of the 30 Days of Love Campaign on Standing on the Side of Love for more ideas on how you can use artistic expression to reach out.

About the Author

Deborah Neisel-Sanders is the Office Administrator for the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. She can be reached at dsanders@uua.org.
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