As we sat in church this morning listening to a beautiful violin solo, a young mother came in with her young son and sat beside us. He was cute and around two years old.
He did really well throughout the service, whispering “shhhh” during the lengthy silence we have as prayer during Lent, making his Star Wars figure chase a horse across the back of the pew, and staring entranced when the modern dancers bore witness to welcoming all people, regardless of how different they may be from us.
Toward the end of the service this little learner was hunched down on the floor between the pews and when he rose up, he hit the lip on the back of the pew in front of us with his head. His eyes got big, he whimpered and began to cry. His mother leaned down, kissed his head and wrapped her arms around him and pulled him onto her lap. She held him as he cried, soothing him. In just a minute, he settled down and was ready to move on playing.
How often is this arm-wrapping, lap-sitting, head-kissing the only sermon we really need to hear? How often are our hearts weeping silently over wounds too deep for words and all we need is someone to just hold us? So many times there are no words to heal. Only a gentle touch of empathy will do. All we need to know is that someone else understands how bad it hurts. Sometimes all we need is for someone we who loves us to kiss our “ouch" and remind us that we do not suffer alone.
When we feel that silent sermon, then we can relax, open our eyes, and delight in the singing, the dancing and the loving that is going on around us.