"If it's okay with you, I'd like for Luke to get to know me better, so he can sit with me in church sometimes..."
Luke is 13. He has an autism disorder known as Asperger's Syndrome. And church can be really long for him. He does pretty well, honestly, but I definitely have to keep my game face on.
Cathy is my friend. She stopped me as this morning's service was closing, to ask me that question. She and her partner Joanne have raised two kids (who I've had the pleasure of meeting), but I've noticed that they often have a child or two sitting with them in service. I never thought much of it, till today. Today I put it all together.
Their children are grown now. They could sit and enjoy the service without the distractions and interruptions that come with being responsible for little ones. They could walk up for communion calmly, not herding children along with them. But they'd rather offer young families their time and presence and attention. They enjoy the kids, the kids enjoy them, and the parents enjoy a bit of freedom. Beautiful.
A huge grin crossed Luke's face when Cathy asked if he'd sit with her next week. Oh, to have someone put that kind of smile on your child's face... does anything compare? Nothing touches a parent's heart more. I'm so grateful for Cathy, and for every special person who has ministered to our kids over the years, simply by offering themSELVES.
Proverbs instructs us not to withhold good from others, when it's in our power to do it. I'm challenged to think about that more this week. Whatever we offer, though seemingly small - when given freely, without condition or expectation - can be BIG to the one receiving it.
I should know. I was reminded of that just this morning.