I find that I learn the most in life from object lessons or from little experiences that stay with me. It seems lately I have had a few church experiences that have moved me to be reminded that God’s grace is everywhere.
This past Sunday was Palm Sunday and it was teeming with excited children and those awesome palm branches that make wonderful sibling swatters. Oh, don’t pretend like you don’t know what I am talking about. If you have ever been to a Palm Sunday service you are well aware that those branches sometimes get a little out of control behind rambunctious children. But it is all part of the day and the celebration. I have so many memories of my two boys swatting at each other with them and me whispering in that “Mom” voice to knock it off. Memories.
So Sunday when a young mom with two young boys sat in the pew in front of us in their cute little spring colored shirts I had to smile and think back to when our boys were small. I didn’t recognize them. She was alone with the two boys and I noticed that they all had put the smiley face stickers on that designate first time visitor.
The service went a little long with communion and a lot of scripture readings from Matthew and the boys got antsy. The older one, especially, appeared to be less than enthused with his younger brother and refused to take him up for the Children’s Time so the sweet mama did that. The older son just seemed like he was on edge and ready to let go during the whole service and I remembered how tough those days as a young mother could be.
The service ended with the congregation supposed to leave in silence (they had stripped the altar which is typically done later in Holy Week) but I just felt so compelled to reach out to this family. Before we all left our pews, I leaned up, placed my arm around her shoulders, leaned in and said “thank you for coming and for bringing your boys”. She nodded her thanks and that was that. Nothing more needed to be said and I hoped that she knew that her boys were not a distraction but were right where they should be.
Too often we (me, included), are impatient and expect our younger members to be perfectly still and quiet. We sometimes expect perfection. But isn’t it just so much better to be able to nurture those little ones and enjoy them at every stage of their lives? She did a difficult thing. Bringing two young ones to church by herself. That takes a lot of courage and I admired her.
Have you done anything courageous lately? I can’t think of anything I have done but I would love to hear from you — I am sure one of my readers has done something courageous lately and I would love to read about it. Leave me a comment and Comment for a Cause for El Centro.
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You described everything perfectly- that Mom and her 2 boys could have been me (my husband traveled a lot.) Thank you for being kind to her. I don’t think I’ve done anything courageous lately, but I will keep that in mind!
Definitely me , as well. I remember those days of trying to do it all alone.
I don’t think I’ve done anything courageous in a very long time. Maybe a puppy when we’re 70 and 67 years old counts as courageous! LOL I remember going to church, the four of us sitting between Mom and Dad. Dressed up at Easter, frilly little dresses that mom made us, and white gloves and straw hats. I don’t remember what my brothers wore, probably though there were clip on ties. We were all pretty good (I think), but they didn’t give us whole palm branches, we were given one small part of a palm frond. Now I want to go back and get a whole branch! Can you IMAGINE 4 kids, each with their own branch????!! Oh, all bets on good behavior would have been off!
4 swatting each other! I would actually love to see that!
I loved reading your post. More people should thank the young people for coming to church.
Bless you for encouraging that young mom with your words. We older moms remember what a challenge it was to keep our young ones in line during church service. All of our family was here for Palm Sunday weekend and our grandchildren loved the palms. As our son with his two little ones were loaded in their vehicle for their 4.5 hour drive home, I asked him if they wanted to take the palms. No way! He knew the girls would be flinging them around in the car and probably in his face too. Ha!
Exactly!!! I think anyone who has experienced Palm Sunday with littles understands!
I love your welcoming reaction. That young mom, I’m sure, was touched by your love and kindness.
Well it was what you would have done as well. Nothing big on my part but a lesson to be remembered. Be kind. Always.
Your Palm Sunday was perfect. I am sure the young mom appreciated your kindness. One on the other hand had an 80 yr old husband waving it in my face. lol
No outstanding act comes to mind, but a memory does…
Grade ten: “What is this assignment, ‘The Bravest Thing I Ever Did’? I’ve never done anything brave.”
“You ride that bicycle around the mountains…you walk miles for fun…you cook on that wood stove…Why don’t you write about *why* you don’t think those things are brave. That would be an interesting essay.”
So I wrote the essay, with apologies for its lack of interesting content, feeling stifled and overprotected. Other tenth graders were driving cars, or playing in real grown-up bands..
Within the week the neighbors’ house caught fire. Back then the county fire truck was rolled out just to tell people that the truck couldn’t pump water out of their springs. People fought their own fires. So I did something brave.
I would have preferred never to have done anything I considered very brave, I decided.
You did do something brave. And you probably do little brave things every day and don’t even realize it. Thanks for sharing.