Who brings you to church, Little One? I always see you alone, but you always find a cousin, a Great Aunt.....someone to sit with, who will "belong" to you. Today it was my turn......and you and I aren't even related!
I felt so honored that you would choose to sit with me. You assured me that you were not afraid of my husband, but you sat on my other side.
We stood to sing along with the Praise Team, holding pinkies (my idea, because your tiny fingers were so cute) You're so little, I don't know how you could see the words on the screen, but you managed to sing along, so I gave you a "Good job!" and was rewarded with your happy grin.
"This is Queen Esther," you said, proudly showing me the flimsy paper Queen Esther you had colored in Sunday School. "Her dress goes this way," turning the brad-fastened skirt with your tiny hand. I admired the queen and her dress, with the Bible verse on the hem, remembering how many flimsy colored paper figures and pages my five children had brought home when they were little like you.
"My Mom wouldn't get her hiner out of bed this morning," you confided, explaining that you were almost late. I wish your mom would come to church with you. You deserve that. Shouldn't moms always take their little girls to church and teach them about how God loves them? What a struggle it had been to get our five to church on time. Always hunting for those elusive shoes---under the couch, behind the bureau..........
I gave you a stick of gum, "I had this kind before!" you said, opening it right away and starting to chew, while you held your fat pretzel stick in your hand. Alternating pretzel and gum, you soon had to go for a drink of water. "My mouth is all dry." I knew you had a drink and used the bathroom just before church, but I let you go anyway because, after all, we're not even related, and I don't want to be disenfranchised the first time we sit together!
You were really quite well-behaved in church, not talking too much and keeping your squirming to a minimum. You were quiet during prayer; you sang the songs from the hymnal as well as you could follow. It was awfully hard to figure out where the next lines were in that one song, wasn't it? When we sat down again, and you wriggled over close to me, I was so happy to put my arm around your skinny shoulders.
Before long, someone was singing a solo, and you declared, "I have to go to the bathroom really bad!" You were very patient with me when I asked you to just wait till his song was finished, and you made it all the way through! By then, it was time for you to put on your coat and climb past our legs to go over to Children's Church, where I'm quite sure you were a big helper, a wonderful singer and a good listener as well, soaking in all that you could!
It was so great to have you sit with me. Can we do that again, soon?