Today is Easter – my absolute favorite church day of the year. Since I was a young girl many of my fondest Sunday morning memories are of worship services for “Resurrection Sunday.” The light, and the singing, and the pretty dresses, and the pervasive sense of joy! It is something that still inspires in my soul a child-like sense of un-self-conscious delight.
Being transported back to childhood joy, however, gets a little more complicated when I have actual, real-life, personality-laden children to manage during the festive hour of worship. On any given Sunday it’s a toss-up whether we will make it through the service with a few whispered reminders about not disturbing people around us, or whether a mini-tantrum will ensure the disturbance of half of the congregation. Consider the added complications of Easter-basket-induced sugar highs and the celebratory atmosphere of Easter services, and well…. it might not be such an unmitigated celebration.
Therefore, anticipating the potential for a dramatic enactment that has very little to do with the annunciation of the Risen Lord, today’s poem shares my feelings about bring my children to church. It is also my expression of gratitude for our wonderful church home.
I know, I’m sorry, Thank you!
I know my little ones can be distracting,
when she does her jumping bean impression
on the seat two feet from yours
for seventeen minutes straight;
when he asks me
in a whisper loud enough for a Broadway stage
“what is the pastor saying?”
when they spread the contents of our busy bag,
my careful plan for several hours’ child-minding tasks,
across at least six seats
and all your floor space.
I’m sorry if your worship is disrupted,
when she throws a fit about communion,
refuses to come up, accept a blessing,
because she’s hungry for the bread and wine;
when he performs a pantomiming tantrum
just past the plate-glass walls
designed to let in light, not 4-year-old rebellion;
when they select the moment meant for reverence
to provide an object lesson
– in high decibel surround sound –
of the fallen state of humankind.
and I want to say…
Thank you for your understanding smiles
when I want just to pick them up and run
to ease my own embarrassment.
And thank you even more for how you welcome them
and ill-timed questions
Because he’s learning from you all
to sing our Jesus’s name with a love-full voice and heart;
to pray “Dear God” and to expect a listening ear;
to listen to the prayer we pray together every week,
and to ask at bedtime
what it means
to forgive as we have been forgiven.
And because she now wants to join this family,
to embrace the rite of water;
to confess a faith that’s hers;
to follow all of your examples
in loving Christ
and loving each other