|A still, small voice|
Lo, and behold, Daniel -- who was probably five years old at the time -- woke up with a fever and a cough, and I immediately took that as a sign from God that I was to stay home and look after my young son.
And if I managed to get caught up on the laundry, dishes, and vacuuming at the same time? All the better. I was certain God, in his infinite wisdom, would understand if I took one Sunday off to straighten my own house instead of worshipping in his.
So John -- who was preparing to enter the Methodist ministry at the time -- scooted out the door on his way to church, and I dutifully administered Tylenol to Daniel. I made sure he was comfy while he played with his cars and dinosaurs in his room, and then I went about my housework.
I was just starting to vacuum the living room when I thought I heard a still, small voice calling to me.
"Mommy, would you play church with me?" I thought I heard the voice say.
I decided I must be hearing things, so I continued vacuuming. And then I heard the voice once more, only this time it was louder. And it was tugging at my sleeve.
"C'mon, Mom," one very red-cheeked Daniel insisted, leading me to a nearby rocking chair. "We're gonna play church. I'll be the pastor."
He handed me his old, torn Toddler Bible. He chose to use one of John's.
"God is our dad," Pastor Daniel began. "God is the Holy Spirit. The reason Jesus came here was so people don't make sins. God wants us to preach his word. He wants everybody to be a pastor."
And then, pounding the arm of the rocking chair -- his makeshift pulpit -- he yelled, "GOD IS OUR DAD, THE HOLY SPIRIT OF LOVE! HE WANTS US TO BE NICE AND LOVE EACH OTHER! IF YOUR MOM'S NOT HOME, OR YOUR DAD'S NOT HOME, AND YOU THINK YOU'RE ALONE, YOU'RE NOT! GOD IS THERE!"
Preach it, brother!
"God has blessed us," Daniel concluded quietly, closing his Bible. "People should love God since he is king of the world. Amen."
And with that, church was over. Daniel promptly returned to his dinosaurs, and I just sat there, riveted to my rocking chair. Stunned.
Out of the mouths of babes!
Was this the same antsy kid who had spent the majority of his church mornings since he was toddler chucking Cheerios across the front pew and twisting his little plastic pony so tight in my hair it gave me a migraine?
Yes, he was one in the same. Miraculously, however, despite his antics, Daniel had apparently absorbed some of the Good News. And despite my avoiding church that day, God, through my young son's tiny voice, got his message across to me in a big way.
So, I say unto all you young moms out there hiding in church cry rooms and nurseries with your toddlers every Sunday because they won't sit still in the pews: Sit in the front pew anyway, your toddler in tow. The cereal will still scatter and you may have to break Black Beauty out of your bob with a bowie knife, but hey...it's all good.
For the Lord apparently doth sometimes work in mysterious (albeit migraine-inducing) ways.