A few weeks ago a child at church came into worship near tears. Her feelings had been hurt because she perceived that a couple of other kids had purposely excluded her from something. Normally I would probably not have been aware of any of this, but the sad child was my own. She sat down in the front pew and curled herself up into a little ball. It was one of those moments when I decided to be mom and not pastor. I sat with her and cuddled her and tried very hard not to give the other children the stink-eye. By the time the first hymn started she was okay and life went on.
Kids will be kids and I know that when two kids are gathered, fun ensues, and when three kids are gathered, one of them usually ends up feeling left out.
When someone inquires how I am, I often reply, “Good. Life is full.” I say that intentionally because I have grown weary of the excuse of being too busy. There’s an implication that in my busyness I have shut out people I love.
Advent is upon us, and I’m just not feeling it this year. Granted, it is only the first week, but I’m not sure I can muster up all the mystery and purple and candles again this year.
On Sunday I heard myself say in my sermon something about making our hearts ready to receive the Christ Child this season. I said it as I have said it every Advent for the last 21 years. And later while I was doing the dishes I realized that I haven’t the foggiest idea what I mean by that.