Friday, I took all the kids and Kiara’s friend Joy to the service at our church. (Christi stayed home sick.) I’ve been to a fair few good Friday services, so I wasn’t expecting much, but this was the best one I can remember. While the worship team sang, a few of the youth leaders acted out some of the scenes in a simple, yet profoundly moving way.
Normally, we sit at the back, so the kids don’t disturb everyone else. This time, I took them right up to the front row. As soon as the program started, and Jesus was praying in Gethsemane, Leila (my four-year-old) asked me, “Is Jesus going to die?” I simply nodded, and she curled into a little ball in my lap and looked like someone was really going to die. When Jesus was being beaten with ropes (soaked in red chalk), tears started streaming down her face; she cried through the whole rest of the service. I was grateful for the gift of my four-year-old to lead me into the proper spirit of worship.
Even my not-quite-two-year old Liam had his eyes fixed on the stage for a full 45 minutes. Then reality struck, and the two little ones started fighting over lap space. Fortunately, my sister was a few rows back to comfort Leïla through the rest of the service, while I took Liam to our usual back-row station and fed him snacks.
Easter was more subdued. We were out at Christi’s parents across town, which is a nice place, but I wasn’t feeling well. Church was a service in a tin shack with a choir of five and a congregation of twenty. Eventually, it started raining so hard that you couldn’t hear the minister over the rain drumming on the zinc sheets of roofing. It reminded me of my old church’s efforts to have an Easter “sunrise” services in balmy downtown Washington. They always set up chairs on the concrete patio between the church and the street; it was always cold and cloudy; we never ever saw any hint of the sun; all you could see was traffic and row houses. It never quite gave me the awe I believe the day deserved.
This Sunday, I mostly took care of our little ones – distracting them with sketches in a notebook, then taking them outside, and finally home early.
The lamb leg for lunch was excellent, and the kids had a great time with the grandparents.