She just came to church last Sunday. Sitting at the end of the pew (our pews hold about 4 grown people), she kicked her feet up and down and had that look on her face that looked like she just might have been weaned from a sour pickle. Her aura of grumpiness encircled those around her as she made everyone know she was not happy. It was a baptism Sunday so opportunities to get up and move around to see the baptism allowed for some musical chairs to occur, and by the time the baptism had taken place she ended up in the front pew.
It's not always easy being an eight year old in a church where there are few children. But she returned this week and I saw her outside. Got a bit of a hug from her and asked if we could sit together. She requested we sit in the front pew. Ok (even though I knew it was a place where another usually sat.). So sat we did- and she saw a little boy with one of the bags we have for young children. She eased over to the pew across the aisle to "check out the loot". It was obvious she was content to sit there with a little bit of entertainment of another child. So move across the aisle I went to make sure we kept things to a low roar. It's the teacher in me.
Not to worry, she was a true trooper keeping up with how to find the pages in the hymnal and the Book of Common Prayer soaking in the busyness of finding pages and reading and singing along at the appropriate times. Sermon time came and she became enchanted with the color of the stained glass shining in and leaving red shadows on her skin. Fascinated by the light as it showed off its glorious colors as the position of the sun shines softer as the bright summer light fades.
As it was time for communion, we walked to the altar and there was just enough room for the three of us - we were at the end of the rail. All of us received the bread, and as the chalice arrived, the little boy had the bread in his hand, not knowing quite what to do with it. He whispers, "I haven't been baptized." I said, "it's ok for you to have it". The little girl had the wafer and I am not sure what happened after that, but I saw the bread in her hand. I heard the person asked "has she been baptized?" and I said I don't know.
At that point, it didn't matter. They took, they ate, and they were fed. And isn't that really what it is all about?