Communion and the Church Nursery

So we put M in the church nursery for the first time today. I was definitely ready, but it was still hard. I was distracted nearly the entire first 30 minutes of the service.

Is she screaming her head off?
She did look a little apprehensive when I handed her over. Did I leave too quickly?
Not help her make the transition from me to a stranger?
Shoot, I didn’t tell them anything about what she likes – to walk around, to look at other kids, to sit on the floor and play…but you have to watch her so she doesn’t fall over.

Then it came time for communion. Communion! I had to get focused.

“Lord, you know I’m totally distracted. Please, please help me to concentrate on you at least during this part of the service. I need this time with you.”

Maybe I could just slip out while everyone’s head is bowed. I’ll just go listen. I won’t go get her; I just want to know if she’s crying.
I wonder what they’ll do if she’s crying.
Don’t worry. I’m pretty sure the lady I handed her to is a mother, too. I think. Is she?
What did Ted just say to picture? Man, I can’t stay focused!

And then it washed over me: the reality of what God did when He let Jesus die on the cross. It’s sort of like what I’ve been thinking about lately…about how parenthood adds such a depth to my perception of things that I never could experience before.

“Lord, how did you do it? I can’t even leave my child in the nursery without worrying about her. You let your child come to Earth where He was challenged, rejected, hated and put to death. I’m having trouble thinking about the fact that she might be in there crying because I’m not there. You had to remain silent when Your child hung on a cross, calling out to you. I’m going to leave this service, and go pick her up – and she’ll be fine and happy to see me. You had to watch the broken body of Your son take on the sins of the world when He did no wrong. How, Lord? And why? Why would you do that…for me?”

I can’t say that I remained focused the rest of the service. And yes, I did leave one time to just go check. And yes, she was just fine. But I’m still pondering the encounter I had with the Lord during that service. I want it to stay with me as I prepare for Easter, so I don’t miss it this year. Who’d have thought leaving my child in the nursery would be such a learning experience on so many levels?


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