|Image credit: Cayusa on Flickr|
I saw you duck your head as you entered, embarrassed that the singing had already begun. It's OK. Getting little ones out of the house takes longer than you expect some days. I was just delighted that you and your little girls made it!
You bit your lip and winced when you realized that all the pews in the back half were full and that you would have to go nearer the front. You weren't distracting the others. They smiled as you and your three year old knelt down and were happy to scoot over and give you more room.
When your five year old pulled off her coat, revealing a Wonder Woman dress and purple sweat pants in all their glory, I could see you thinking again that it wasn't appropriate for church. Oh, mama! First of all, I have kids with SPD and I know very well what it is like when every single item of clothing they own suddenly doesn't feel right. Here is the most important thing: she had put on joy, love and a tender and open spirit. She has plenty of time to adapt to social conventions of what is appropriate. What I saw was a pure heart that was happy to be there, and that is far more important. Seriously--if you had pushed the issue, and forced her to change, it would only have meant that you both arrived in a bad mood (if you arrived at all!). And finally, she was totally rockin' the sparkly shoes with her outfit!
Her eyes lit up when she saw the purple and gold robe the priest was wearing--her favorite color! When she and your three year old began to pray along with the congregation, my heart melted. I chuckled inside when the littlest one began to clap, even though no one else was clapping. Although they can't read yet, they turned the pages in the hymnal and tried to imitate the adults, and it reminded me of a couple of girls about that age who used to close their eyes and raise their hands in worship. They weren't sure why, but they saw the grown ups doing it and thought it must be important. During the homily, they looked around, and their eyes sparkled just like the stained glass windows they were admiring.
I could see your shoulders tense up a little at the wriggling, and knew that you were worried about their behavior. I wasn't. And that is why I pulled my arms around you and whispered in your ear, "Shame off you! My house is a place of grace, not shame."
"And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." ~ Matthew 18:3 NIV
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Even when they come dressed as Wonder Woman.
With all my love,
I know that some people will feel uncomfortable that I signed God's name to this. It is not done in any spirit of irreverence. You see, I was that frazzled mom this morning, and I believe that this is what He told me.