First of all, thank you. Thank you for all you do for our church. I know you’ve been here many years, and you have a heart for the Lord and for serving Him. You may not believe me, but I actually find that inspiring. Thank you.
I’ve got to be honest though, and say that I didn’t find today too inspiring. I know you’ve met my little man. The whole church has met my little man. At top volume too. It was pretty awful today, wasn’t it? I know it wound you up and made you angry. I know you meant to offer me some good advice about controlling him. I honestly don’t believe you meant to hurt me.
The thing is though, that I was hurt. I think you felt that you knew a little bit about my son and his behaviour from what you’ve seen of him in the last few weeks. Here’s the thing though. There are quite a lot of things you don’t know.
I don’t think you realised that he does in fact, have a problem with his hearing. That noises and crowds and sudden movement cause him quite significant fear, and that many noises are actually very physically painful to him. For a two year old in a crowded space, that’s quite hard. As his mummy, it’s quite hard too. And so sometimes I’m tired and I’m grouchy and I don’t know how to help him.
There’s something else you don’t know though. Isaac chose, despite the issues I’ve just mentioned, to be in church this morning. I was feeling very tired, so I offered him the chance of swimming instead of church. His answer? He wanted to be at church this morning, to “love God”.
I wish you could see him praying for my friends every night – because he knows God loves them. Or telling me that God loves him “Big Lots!”. Or sploshing himself with holy water, because I’d told him it reminds us of our baptism, and that reminds us of how much Jesus loves him. Or closing his eyes to pray each night.
Isaac has a very, real, active faith. But he’s a 2 year old boy, and he can’t engage as well as you can. It’s hard to understand, but although he’s very intelligent, he can’t engage as well as other children you know either. It’s not because I parent him badly, or because he doesn’t understand boundaries, or because he’s being badly behaved. it’s simply because he’s him.
I know it’s frustrating and difficult. But can I ask you a favour? Will you pray for me, as I try to be the best parent I can for him? Will you help him realise he’s welcome, even when he’s hard work? I promise to try and help him to realise that other people need to worship too. But will you love me when it all goes wrong – because it will?