A heart-melting moment…
I serve as a cantor for a Lutheran congregation filled with some of the sweetest people I have ever met. Church was where I first learned that I loved to sing, and where my musical abilities were first discovered and nurtured. In every church I’ve ever attended, no matter what the differences in theology or worship have been, there have been two common elements among them all: the inclusion of music and the children’s sermon.
Kids are so unpredictable! Some days they gather around the pastor quietly and attentively. Some days they are rambunctious little urchins! Our pastors always handle the children’s behavior with good humor and a smile.
One thing you can count on with little children is that they are honest (sometimes to their parents’ chagrin!). They will say exactly what they’re thinking, simply and without guile. It might not always be what we want to hear, like when a little child asks why that lady has a mustache, or how come some people have stinky feet or loudly points out, “That man just pooted!”.
Sometimes, though, a kid will warm your heart with a sincere, sweet compilment. I experienced such a moment this past Sunday. I was getting into my car to leave church after the second service when a very cute little girl and her very cute grandmother waved and called out to get my attention. I stopped and opened my car door to talk to them, and Grandma said, “We tried to find you in the choir room but you’d already come out to the parking lot, and my granddaughter wanted to tell you something.”
This sweet little girl could not have been more than 6 years old. With her dark hair, she reminded me a lot of myself at that age, smiling up at me with her little baby-teeth smile. I said hello and how glad I was to meet her, and she said, “I just want to say I think you’re a beautiful sing-ger!”
Singing last summer at Carnegie Hall was cool…but not as special as this moment with this little girl. I thanked her, reached out to take her hand and asked her name, and she told me her name is Bella. “Your parents gave you a wonderful name, because Bella means beautiful, and you sure are!” I also noticed her pink cowboy boots and told her how much I liked them. Grandma went on to say that Bella sometimes gets to visit at our church but lives in another area of town. I thanked them both and we chatted a little more before parting ways.
In my rush to get home, it would have been easy to miss Bella and Grandma trying to flag me down in the parking lot. What a blessing I would have missed! Jesus took time to touch and bless little children. He takes the time to listen when I need to talk to Him. In His eyes, maybe we are all children.