Sunday, August 4, 2013

As For Me and My House

This was a momentous day in our family. I didn't really expect it to be so, but it was. I knew it could be pretty important because our six-and-a-half year old daughter has been learning about communion for a couple of weeks. She's been asking about it for months, but only in church. I guess I figured she was interested in having a snack at church, especially one that came with juice in such a cute little cup!

But a couple of weeks ago (away from church), she asked me when our church was having communion again. I told her that I didn't know, but that if she wanted to take communion, she needed to learn about what it means to do so.  She and her dad spent several short periods of time together talking about communion, and they decided to talk to an elder this morning about her taking communion today. So I knew that it could be a big day!

After talking with the elder before the service, she was invited to participate in communion today. She listened carefully through much of the service, awaiting her first communion. Before that came, however, there was the children's message.

Our pastor is adopted and is very aware of adoption issues, but I'm positive he didn't consider the statement he made as "dangerous." He freely acknowledged later in the service that the topic of honoring our fathers and mothers is tricky because some people's experiences with their parent(s) weren't positive. But I'm absolutely sure that he had no idea how devastating it could be to my precious daughter for him to tell the children that their parents had taken such good care of them when they were babies and toddlers. He even asked one of the kids, "Did your parents take good care of you when you were a baby?"

I'm glad he didn't ask our daughter that question. We, her adoptive parents, weren't there when she was a baby. And her birth parents were very young, and didn't really know how to take good care of her. That's why she's with us! If he had asked our beloved daughter, she would've answered honestly. She knows her story. But it would've broken her heart. As it was, she remained blissfully unaware of exactly what he was talking about.

But not me or my husband. We exchanged a look of trepidation that the pastor would continue on this topic (which he didn't, thankfully!), both of us had tears in our eyes. When our sweet daughter returned to our pew, she got lots of hugs and caresses from both of us. I was so thankful that she had missed the import of that part of the message.

I don't tell this part of the morning's events to fault our pastor in any way! He meant no harm whatsoever, and probably every other child in church today could've answered that question with a resounding yes. Instead, I tell this part of the morning's events because it opens your eyes to the condition of my heart when the next part happened. I was feeling very protective and close to my daughter following the children's message.

And then we sang The Family Prayer Song. And that same precious daughter sang loud and clear, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." I'm sure everyone in the room could hear her sweet voice calling out those words with a depth of feeling that surprised me. I melted as we sang the refrain after each verse.

When communion time came, my husband was asked to help serve. He was privileged to be able to serve our daughter her first communion. I was privileged to sit beside her, hear her excitement, and watch her prayer after she took each element.

Our Almighty God was powerfully present this morning. In protecting our wee one, in calling her to serve, and in the serving and receiving of her first communion. I am humbly grateful, tearfully proud and honored, and deeply moved by these events.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

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