One of our children is struggling with church.
The volume of our music is too much for him.
The lights and screens are a tad too bright.
Sitting still during the sermon is often beyond his abilities.
Usually, he and I walk the halls during that part of church. Yesterday, that meant talking to a new and patient friend about his favorite reptiles, including waterfall toads, troodon, and megaladon.
Then we meandered to one of the baby classrooms, where an old and trusted friend chatted with us about school – he told her his grade and teacher and the rule about not bringing frogs into the classroom – and Halloween – he told her he was a “Star War with a light saber” but he was actually a shark who happened to be carrying a glow stick.
That led to a visit to the fish tank, where we didn’t stay long but where he met a baby boy with his teacher and told them all about the Redtail Shark.
From there, we visited a toddler class, where he and I connected with a dear friend who taught our boy when he was that age.
By the time we were done with our conversations there, we didn’t get a chance to head the library where we often end our worship hour. It was time to find Daddy again and then head to Sunday school class, where he also struggles some but not quite as much.
To some, it might appear that we missed out on worship. Maybe so. But I see a living sermon in the love and care each grown-up friend showed to me and my boy along the way. He was obviously a little out of sorts yesterday morning, and they saw past that. They met me and my boy right where we were, and it reminded me of someone else who tended to do that on earth.
One of our children is struggling with church, but our church is not struggling with us.
For that, I am thankful.