When I left off from telling the story, I had established LB (my 2.5-year-old) as having gotten the attention of everybody in the room. Soon afterwards, Corey (our pastor) called us forward to officially take our membership vows.
I think that’s what we ended up doing, but looking back I am pretty hazy on the details. It turns out that LB was not totally on board with our plan. What he was on board with? Getting down to run around, yelling at the top of his lungs, crying, or any combination of the above.
I was holding him as we walked to the front of the room. I tried whispering in his ear to try and distract him from the fact that he was now the proud owner of a captive audience. Let’s just say I don’t think he is going to have a fear of public speaking. He began publicly pleading for the right to get down almost immediately upon reaching the front of the room.
That’s when we had a brilliant idea. I’m not going to completely toss my wife under any metaphorical busses, because I might have thought the idea was a good one at the time as well, but suffice it to say that “brilliant” in the previous sentence is used with a heavy sense of sarcasm and poetic irony. She pointed toward the stairs at the front of the room (it’s an elementary school gym that doubles as an auditorium, complete with rubberized stairs leading up to the stage) and asked if LB wanted to sit there.
Yeah, we thought we’d just get the toddler to sit quietly on the stairs while we joined the church. Because quiet and immobile are the two most frequently used adjectives to describe him. (There’s that sarcasm again!)
He sat there for exactly zero seconds (I counted) before jumping up to make a break for the stage.
What I immediately thought was “should I just let him go backstage and then go find him after we’re done?”
It turns out that was enough to make my wife have to say urgently (and as loudly as you can in a whisper while standing in front of the church) “go GET him.”
Right. Probably best to keep him with us. Good thinking, wife.
From there, I didn’t hear a single thing that transpired for the rest of our time. Because my son had his fingers in my ears. And when he didn’t, he was yelling at the top of his lungs to be rescued. I decided that putting him on my shoulders was the easiest way to prevent him from getting down. But it also gave him clear access to my face.
It made the question about being fully at the mercy of Jesus for salvation all that much easier to answer, when a toddler was screaming at the top of his lungs.
All in all, I thought it was fun to join the church and let folks see us for who we really are: a total wreck of a family that really needs Jesus to make it through!