Monday, February 14, 2011

I asked Pancake about church

When Pancake was ~ 18 months old, we had her dedicated. Meaning we stood up at our old church and promised that we would raise her knowing God and the bible. She's eight years old now. We are fulfilling that promise by taking her to church every Sunday.

When we go, we drop off her at the children's wing so she can go to her special service. At her service, the children's crew performs skits, play games and sing songs. It's part of the children's ministry. The goal is to involve and teach kids about God, on their level, while doing things they like. Church is different for kids these days. No more making them wear uncomfortable shoes and tight neckties. No shushing them while they squirm on the hard pews. She has no idea how good she has it.

For Pancake, God is a different concept. At first, she was a bit confused about why we keep going to church, but she knew some kids there and that was fun. Then she stopped talking about it. And I stopped asking her about it. I wanted to give her time. A few months went by.



Hobby Lobby.

I asked her why she never wants to talk about church. She looked down and shuffled her feet. I asked if she was embarrassed about it. She said yes.


If Pancake is reluctant to talk about something, if she's embarrassed, that means something is happening on a deeper level. A deep internal stirring if you will. Which is hard for anyone to understand, let alone an eight year old.

So I pull her close and hug her. I reassure her that no matter what she tells me, I'll never make fun of her. I tell her-she'll never get in trouble when she tells me how she feels about church.


She said this.

"When I'm at church, and I'm singing, I feel God. I feel God touching my heart."


It was at this point I started to cry a little. I was overcome. Right there at the hobby lobby. It was so unbelievable, her saying this. So I hugged her and told her how awesome that is. I told her, "Oh honey, I feel the same way, when I'm singing in the grown up church!"

Awesome indeed!

5 Left a message at the beep:

RW said...

Before I became a Quaker I was nothing much. But before that I was raised Catholic. And we had the shirts and ties and strict nuns with the thimbles on their fingers whacking you in the temple when you misbehaved. It was awesome (coughcough).

Along with that was the fact that being raised urban/ethnic/Catholic meant there were a lot of threats about God. That thunder is God punishing someone. You better behave or God will toss lightning bolts down at you. God is an angry old man with a white beard in the clouds and he is watching every. move. you. make.

And I would go to church (6 times a week - once before school every day and then again on Sunday) and even though it was all in Latin and stern and the organ music will kill you if you think a wrong thought, I never felt the way they told me I was supposed to feel.

I never saw this "God" thing as a mean old fart up there watching for any wrong move you-better-behave crap. I always felt happy. And warm. And quiet. At seven.

It took a while to find that God again. Once I got passed the grown-ups version of the Wizard of Oz.

Why would God hate something he created? Why would he want to see it damned forever? I always thought the Christian metaphor was that you could get another chance. That no matter how bad you did there was always a chance to change & make it up.

I think your daughter has it just right.

Slyde said...

awww, i think that would have misted me up a little as well.

your kids on the right track, girl. give her a big hug from me..

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Ah, I just love this post. LOVE it.

Mrs. Hall said...

RW: yeah, catholic. there are so many of us that carry baggagge to a certain degree. but I'm glad you didn't let that stop you, glad you are still a seeker and let-er of love in your heart :)

Slyde: aww . . . will let her know

Green Girl: yeah, this post. my daughter is jsut so awesome with the teaching me about church! awesome!

Reece Fox said...

I just wanted to say this post was amazing. I'm not a "typical" religous person. I don't categorize myself under a denomination, I don't worship in a church, and I don't have any symbols to represent my beliefs. But I used to get the same feeling in church when I'd sing growing up. I never thought of the possibility that it could be God, I just thought it was nerves.
But even now, some days I'll be driving down the highway with the radio blasting... and I feel something. It's like a growing feeling, like something amazing is about to burst out of me in the form of music. It's very calming even to a skeptic like myself. :)
Pancake sounds like an amazing little girl, I'm sure you're very proud because I know I would be!

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