I think most people and even children were smart enough to know that the movie played on the outdoor screen did not originate from the screen itself. The screen was merely a blank canvas that the film was played upon, the picture projected from a projector in a nearby building. Even the sound did not come from the screen. The clunky metal speaker had to be hooked onto a partially rolled-down car window. By the time our kids were small, we would just tune our car radio to the station and play the sound through the car stereo, but there was a time when the sound came through the ugly gray speaker sitting next to your dad’s ear. If the projector guy had trouble with the film, there would be a delay and you’d have to go swing on the swings and get more popcorn at the Snack Bar while waiting for it to be repaired.
Remember the old recess chant, “I’m rubber and you’re glue—your words bounce off me and stick on you?” That’s about projection. I was in my studio cutting some glass this week for a new stained-glass piece and it struck me as I was using my trusted can of rubber cement that this type of glue is so useful in a project like mine because the cement actually becomes rubber and rolls off easily after it’s almost dry. It doesn’t leave any marks and it’s not permanent. It works wonderfully for glass because after I’ve attached my pattern pieces to use as a guide for cutting the glass pieces into precisely the right sizes and shapes, the paper can be peeled off and the glue washed away from the glass, leaving it ready to be foiled and soldered and connected to other glass pieces, turning it into a beautiful window. But not all glue is rubber cement. There is super glue and Elmer’s glue, Gorilla glue and school paste. Just about every kind of glue for your gluing needs. Many are permanent and strong. Some will even glue your fingers together if you’re sloppy in the application.
Look, here’s the deal. I feel plenty low about myself enough on a regular basis not to need any help from any of you. For those of you who think everything is perfect in my life, you might want to know that I struggle with feeling healthy enough every day to just do the minimum tasks required to stay registered as a breathing human being. I’m just a person like you, trying to do my best every day to work hard, be a good wife and mother, learn new things, discover new talents, laugh and smile, make memories with my family, and find out what it is God truly wants me to do with my life. I give you credit for doing the same, which is your best. Surely there must be something on which we can all agree.
But one thing is certain. I am not your movie screen. I am not your rubber throwing mat for your nasty clumps of glue. If you don't like how I live my life or speak or bear my testimony at church or even how I've raised my family and what I believe about marriage, then don't pay attention to me or read my blog or buy my art. I don't watch or listen to things that perturb me. So if I anger you by being me, well, that's you're problem and not mine. I'm not a movie screen, I'm not a punching bag, and I'm not a door mat. I will say what I want and when, I will believe what I choose and not apologize, and I will stand up for my beliefs and my rights. I also make you a promise. I will not, and I do not, use harsh words, call you names, gossip about you behind your back, and dis-invite you from my life because we might see things differently. I won't ask for gifts I gave you to be returned and I won't act like a baby. I respect and love all people enough to know what we all are supposed to be different. That's the way God made us. But being different does not give anyone the license to coerce others to go along with their belief system and try to change the entire planet just because they don't like something or they want something. Remember the green beans example? Well, it's time to stay away from green beans if you don't care for them and eat all you want if you like them. But the green bean lovers and haters can't make us all agree about green beans.