We’ve been taking Ian to church with us since he was born. He had a few stints in the nursery, but for the most part he’s been with us in the sanctuary. We wanted to worship as a family, and let him feel the warp and woof of what it means to worship God.
And learn to sit quietly.
We are not naive. We understand that sermons from a seminary professor are slightly out of Ian’s grasp, and that sometimes it’s difficult even for us to concentrate during a lengthy prayer. He sits/kneels/snuggles quietly enough and draws with his markers and crayons. He sings with the hymns, and he picks up the basics.
But he’s four years old. Yesterday I watched him color, kneeling on the floor and using the cushioned pew as his easel. Was anything getting through?
‘How many of you,’ our pastor asked, ‘enjoy looking at pictures of space?’
A flash of movement beyond my own upraised arm: Ian beaming toward the pulpit, fingers straining to reach the ceiling. He was nearly on his toes, and his hand stayed in the air long after the point had been made.
Still waters. Congregations beware: our children are listening.