Sunday School

Discipline. Sacrifice. This is part of the value my parents presented to me in regards to church. Luckily, the picture was a lot richer and more complex for the kid I was. We’ve had great Sunday school leaders who instilled in us the love for the Word. Though we have had long seasons when there was no Sunday school and we dreaded church. We fought to not go. We had no friends there and no adults to take us seriously or talk to us to our understanding.

Yesterday we went to a close by evangelical church. And this time I decided to stay with Jaclyn at her class and not cause undue stress for her. This was yet another new place, new people, new rules, spoken and unspoken. Though I have gone to church my whole life, I realized how out of place I feel, not knowing the drill of this specific group. How much more is this felt by a 3 year old constantly thrown into new environments! Yet every time she deals with it in stride. She was the friendliest kid in the group, and the most outgoing not familiar with the clicks, though I think she was one of the youngest. I bit back my embarrassment. I think at her age I had preferred to fade in the background… but yesterday, maybe because I was there, or because this was a huge group with older children even, or she felt welcomed by the stranger lady who talked with her kindly, personally walking us to the room, she liked it there. And I enjoyed the time too. The teacher reminded me of Snow White… black hair and very pretty, with a voice like honey. She had a program, with getting them all warmed up, singing a song with each kids name, telling stories, explaining concepts, frosting cookies (a chocolate heart with sugar frosting, in line with the Bible verse they learned regarding Jesus making our heart white … and it was the same verse they highlighted in the big church). Even I was captivated.

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Jaclyn went to any and all kids and adults, smiled, touched their hands, asked them their name, danced… some (most) of them found her behavior odd, based on their reactions, but it occurs to me that us, church people find the Exuberance of free worldly people uncomfortable. She did not care, and she was kind, so I decided to just enjoy the splash of color she brought to the group.

There were 5 other kids coming and going in waves, glued to their parents, crying, and I could read the embarrassed, frustrated but contained mood settlers on their parents. I have been frustrated too before. Not long ago actually. I know oh so well. Yet, I think we are missing the point. This is a short period of neediness of a child. He won’t cling to us in high school :-p Us being frustrated doesn’t help one bit. I was glad it was not me… and isn’t that sad? To be glad that there is a more frantic or upset parent than us?

Church this Sunday was not about me, getting my cup filled with worship and the Word. This Sunday was for Jaclyn. Conrad was in big church, saying he could sing along to all songs and caught most of the sermon. Especially because they used power point.

In the evening I pulled up my childhood bible and started reading the psalms. I wanted to read to Jaclyn. Then I stumbled upon the proverbs. I had not read them in a long time. And I started weeping. Crying really. The wisdom imparted there, my absorbing it with hunger as an adolescent, shaping my life… We are so wrapped up in life than the Source if the Truth is overlooked. I missed the bible so much and it has always been inches from all the other books I touch or pick up.

Yesterday morning Jaclyn sang a long song all by herself. One I taught her. I never knew she actually remembers all the words. And the tune. She opened the book at the right song and started singing. With gusto. She amazes us each day… with something new she says or learns.