So Aidan brought his backpack into church today … which happened to have an electronic toy in it.
Halfway through the opening prayer, in the dead silence, we hear a zipper opening. Then, a little musical chime, followed by an oppressively cheerful voice that sounds exactly like Elmo:
Hello! Press a button!
Then some more thrashing and assorted noise as Teresa grabs the toy and tries to find the off switch. Which, of course, starts a closing music chime accompanied by “Bye-bye.”
Bye bye indeed.
I’m re-reading Corrie Ten Boom’s first book The Hiding Place right now.
Corrie tells of when she was a small child, and heard a word that she didn’t understand. When she wrote the English version of the her book, she chose to translate it as “sexsin.”
Here’s what her father told her when she asked him what it meant as they were on a train trip:
He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads, and set it on the floor.
“Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?” he said.
I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
“It’s too heavy,” I said.
“Yes,” he said. “And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”
And I was satisfied. More than satisfied – wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions – for now I was content to leave them in my father’s keeping.
How simple. How profound.
I pray that I will have the right answer in the right words at the right time for my children. Too often I feel like I don’t.