In general, I’m a pretty big fan of typos, grammatical gaffes, and other rifts between native speakers and the Mother Tongue. As a freelance writer and a non-practicing English teacher, I view these breaches in convention as readily available sources of entertainment, not unlike sports bloopers or film outtakes.
Most of us are familiar with those church bulletin faux pas that get passed around via email—you know, the ones informing the congregation of the need for new choir robes due to the recent addition of new members and the deterioration of some older ones, or those announcing that the ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind, and may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon. One announcement stated the need for attendees of the Weight Watchers meeting to enter through the large double doors at the back of the building. Every now and then, though, I happen across slip of the keyboard that is just, well, perfect.
A serendipitous typo in my own church bulletin on Sunday doubled as a one word sermon summary for me. It could have passed easily as the well-considered material from a large publishing house, but it wasn’t. It was, simply, an omitted letter “t,” an oversight in the notes for the sermon entitled the Outreach Challenge, which now read as the “Oureach” Challenge. Our Reach. What could be a more perfect moniker for a lesson all about the little pieces of big puzzles, the small gestures and simple kindnesses that are within our grasp? The things we can do to alleviate problems even if we can’t solve them. The acts that may seem insignificant by themselves, but represent our unique contribution to an equation that will otherwise remain unsolved; the hearts, the lives, the souls behind the needs right within Our Reach.
None of us can do everything. In fact, sometimes what we have to offer—physically, emotionally, or financially—seems a small contribution in comparison with the need. Last week felt like that, for me. I had friends, just within my grasp who were dealing with trouble of all kinds. Sudden loss. Disappointment. Sickness. The stories aren’t mine to tell, and my part in them was small—very small. But doing something seemed better than nothing, and small though my responses were, they were the ones within my reach.
So, in conclusion….Let’s meat the needs in front of us that are as plane as the nose on our faces. And let’s watch are grammer and spelling, to. There’s a lot of bad examples out their.