They don’t cover this in most parenting books. They don’t prepare you for this at church. Your own parents will often fail to pass down some generational wisdom. But eventually, especially if you live in the Bible Belt, you’ll have to explain to your kids they found a tract, not a million dollar bill.
I remember the first time my oldest daughter L.E. found one on the floor of a bathroom in a South Carolina rest stop. (Let’s not focus on the fact that my child picked up something on the bathroom floor of a South Carolina rest stop.) She was so excited. She thought she had legitimately found $1,000,000. And although she didn’t say it, I could see in those beguiling blue eyes, “Our worries are over. We’ll no longer have to try to make ends meet on the salary of a sarcastic copywriter!”
But then I had to have one of those difficult father to daughter conversations. I had to sit her down and explain that the bill she clutched in her little hand was not in fact money. It was a tract. She was confused. Hurt. Disorientated. I remember her punching the bill right in the face and then giving it a leg drop. It got very violent, very quickly.
Not really, but she was bummed out because she had calculated the amount of silly bandz she could buy with that amount of lettuce. And at our house, silly bandz are like cigarettes in jail, they are our currency.
To avoid situations like that going forward, I would like to call a truce with the producers of tracts. I would like to suggest a cease fire on the fake money tracts. I want to meet you in the middle. Here are the conditions:
If you agree to stop making the fake money tracts, I will:
1. Admit that many, many people have been greatly impacted by tracts. (And I know someone is going to post a comment about finding Jesus through the fake money tract.)
2. I will not get frustrated when someone gives my kids a tract at Halloween instead of candy.
3. You and I will partner together on an epic full length graphic novel that is the modern day interpretation of King David’s life. It will be Frank Miller Sin City meets Chick Cartoon Tracts.
4. I will admit that I am in no position to determine what God can and can’t use to spread his name or glory. I probably would have voted against the burning bush with Moses had I been on the “ways to reach Moses committee.”
5. I will never again mention the fake money tracts on Stuff Christians Like, having covered them twice in 800+ posts.
If I agree to those 5 conditions, you will:
1. Stop making fake money tracts.
2. Never, ever, ever leave a tract instead of a tip at a restaurant.
3. Put at least one package of bottle caps or milk duds in the Halloween bag you put the tract in.
4. You will not throw them on the ground and litter. Or if you do, they will be printed on delicious corn chips that people can eat. But then they’d be eating food off the ground. Scrap that one.
5. You will buy lots of copies of the Stuff Christians Like book and hand that out instead.
OK, there’s a chance you are going to pass on that last one. I understand that, but you have to understand that I had to try.
Please let me know if you accept these terms.