Sunday, June 08, 2008
Children in church revisited...
God is funny sometimes. It never fails to make me chuckle that sometimes God feels the need to give me a vivid demonstration. Kinda like a little knock on the head... like, helllooooooooooo.
Take today, for instance. There is going to be a change at my church. Pastor Matt and staff prayed long and hard and decided that they were no longer going to allow children older than three months old inside the sanctuary.
Back when I had three children, I used to attend this little church where the ushers were also the deacons and the youth pastors and the outreach coordinators and the groundskeepers. I would sit with my little baby and nurse him quietly while the pastor did his thing up on the pulpit. There was only about six or seven families, so having a child inside during service wasn't much of a disruption. Not unless you count the numerous times I found myself flashing the pastor my boob.
Whenever my sweaty little babe would fall asleep under the blanket, I would breathe a sigh of relief and try not to nod off. God bless that oxytocin.
I've loosened up on my children should be allowed in church stance a little bit. A lotta bit. I am all for putting the chil'rens in their respective classes so I can sit in church in some semblance of total peace. An hour of respite is an hour of respite. I know they are in wonderful hands. And they love it.
So as I am sitting in my seat, pondering Pastor Matt's announcement, I hear this irritating sound of a pen scraping on the metal of the bleachers. Repeatedly. I turn to my left. About three seats away is a little boy, about the age of six.
Oh, the irony.
So he kept scraping, scraping, scraping away and his mom didn't make a move to get him to stop. After about three looks (inquisitive glances, I should say) from me--that holy Christian woman who believes all children should be allowed inside church with their parents--he finally stopped. But then he started to slide his sandals on the floor.
Shweeee shweeee shweeee shweeee.
Oh sugar.honey.ice.tea. Then he kept whispering to his mom.
"Are we going to grandma's house?"
"Is it almost over?"
"When I get home can I watch a movie?"
Then I believe in an effort to shut him up, the mom gave him an apple. You know what comes next. Little homeboy starts crunching loudly on the green apple. And smack smack smacking his lips like a horse through a fence.
Note: Everyone that lives in my house knows that I often threaten to throw my chankla at the head of whoever chews their food and smacks their lips like a horse. It drives me nuts. So to hear this kid eating an apple....oh dear God.
I was sort of irritated. And annoyed. And I have six children which should make me six times more understanding and tolerant, right?
It wasn't the boy. It was the mom.
She was listening intently to the sermon, immune to the irritating noises her son kept making. I kept thinking, are you serious? Can you please make him stop? I can admit that a mother can block out her own child (much like the person who lives by the train tracks never hears the train), and Lord knows I do this like, all day. But come on. At church? About three quarters of the way into service, the lightbulb went off in my head.
Oh, okay God. So this is what the Sandals team was talking about. Hmmm, I see. My bad, God. I didn't mean to get all churchified and holy. I get it. This is what they meant by children being a distraction.
Like I said, God is funny sometimes. There is nothing like a live-in-flesh demonstation to drive the point home.