The Phrivolous Phantom

photo(4)On Thursday, I led devotional exercises at the Vermont House of Representatives. I said something like this:

Depending on what route you took into town today, you may have seen that downtown Montpelier was “attacked” by the Valentine’s Day Phantom. Sometime during the night before Valentine’s Day, this anonymous person– or group of people, more likely– plasters the community with thousands of paper hearts. Montpelierites wake to hearts on storefronts and street signs and bridges and bell towers. It must take hours and hours to cover the town with hearts. That’s a lot of work, just to bring a smile to people’s faces, to spread a little love and joy and hope in one’s community.

It also strikes me that that’s a lot of paper. Reams and reams of it. Perhaps that paper could have been more efficiently used to draft important memos, or pieces of legislation. Instead, it was “wasted” on the frivolous task of taping hearts all over store windows.

But was it really wasted? Sometimes, I think, in order to spread love and joy and hope in our communities, we have to be a little wasteful, a little frivolous. We have to act without counting the cost in hours or in sheets of paper, and labor not for recognition, but for the simple satisfaction of knowing we brightened a day, made a life easier. So let’s learn from the Privolous Phantom (see the Phantom’s Phacebook Phan Page). Let’s spread love and joy and hope without counting the cost!

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