…to enter the pew beside us.
Strange things can go terribly right or wrong if you are sitting in the row behind or in front of us in church. As the Reverend’s illustrious, if not notorious, family you can be highly entertained or greatly annoyed if you choose to sit near us.
There will be days I look over at my crew and think “Glory Hallelujah! God has answered my prayers. They are all sitting so NICE! They are finally growing up.” I am pleased to say that this happens more often than not these days.
Then there are those Sundays where there is a carefree child dancing to her own tune in the middle of the sermon in front of the pulpit. It could be that she was dancing before the Lord, but it could also have been a little distracting for those actually trying to listen to the Reverend. Instead she was twirling and dancing to her own tune. At least that hasn’t happened in a while.
There are other times my boys suddenly think bodily noises are hilarious and appropriate in a hushed crowded room. They may start making some not-as-polite-noises from their mouths or armpits.
I especially love (read a little sarcasm) the days where one or the other or all of them must be dragged screaming from the services something to the tune of “HELP ME! HEEEELLLLLLP ME!” True story. She may have even yelled “DAAAaaaaaaAAAAD!!”
Then there are the average Sundays where I pray that my children might glean at least one gem from the service. It usually happens that two sit on one side of me, and two on the other. This seating arrangement allows me the arm length ability to
whack tap them “lightly” on the back of the head or shoulder as a reminder to mind their manners and be quiet or sit down or pay attention. Yes, I am that mother. Whacking my kids towards stronger spiritual walk. If that doesn’t work, I have the Mom’s Withering Look. We all know what that looks like because we have all received it at some point. I can stare from the other side of the church and my kids know they are busted.
Despite all of that, My prayer is that even if they are looking bored, picking their noses or what-have-you, that some small amazing piece of what is being said and sung will be said and sung right into their hearts. God LOVES the little children. HE sees them as they are and loves how he made those crazy creatures. He want’s our time together, as a body of believers, to be one where the little children are blessed and asked to come to him.
I love our critters, just the way God made them. Ultimately, when we arrive at church we are there to get down to the business of letting God impress on our hearts and on the hearts of our children the love he has for US and the grace he gives to all. We are there to worship God and in doing so show the children around us how worthy He is to be praised.
I pray the grace that I show to my children, and the children in our midst, gets deeper as I realize that the grace that God extends to me is as deep as an ocean.
Sometimes I can act ridiculous and yet He still loves me. I’m so glad he doesn’t whack me on the head. That is one very big hand.