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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

The Ice Cream Man
Date Posted: June 17, 2006

I don't know how it sounds in your town, but the ice cream truck in our town in extremely loud and, I have to say, annoying.

First comes the music, childhood ditties you could sing in your sleep, which are somehow hard to identify when played through a fake calliope and mixed with horns, bells and recorded voices saying "Hello".

At every house with a bicycle he slows down, I suppose in hopes that sweet-starved children clutching dollars will run out to greet him. I usually turn up the T.V. or start speaking loudly and hope my kids don't hear him wherever they are in the house. (I'm just a mean mom!)

But, come on, giant popsicles even Clifford the Big Red Dog couldn't finish before they melted and they cost two dollars! My kids are happy with the push up kind, which don't drip as badly, and come in a box of 30 for $3.99. Some of the ice cream bars are up to four dollars - it's like going to the amusement park without the rides.

What bothers me most, though, is the image I have in my head from years of T.V. shows and commercials of the ice cream man in his button-down white shirt, neatly trimmed hair and cap, smiling his perfect smile. Sad to say, but our ice cream man is a little scary looking.

My kids love the stuff, though. So do most of the kids in town, apparently. Otherwise he would have left our little burg in the dust and moved on to more lucrative neighborhoods.He brings joy.

Jesus sent the apostles out to tell God's people that the kingdom of heaven was near. Some of them probably needed haircuts and they no doubt were quite dusty from their travels. He told them not to take any money, but to depend on the kindness and hospitality of the people they met. To anyone who did not welcome them, Jesus instructed them to shake the dust off their feet when they left that place.(Matthew 10:5-14)

They were to deliver joy and hope, much as the ice cream man delivers the joy of a cold treat on a hot summer day. The hope the apostles spoke of was eternal through the Son, yet it was discarded by many people just like a popsicle left melting in the sun.

As you share a cold treat with a child this week, remember to share the eternal joy in Jesus as well.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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