I love my five year old. He's a brilliant boy who has some special needs - nothing particularly severe, and likely the consequences of his epilepsy. We don't really know.
In the opening moments of church this morning I'm sat with him on my lap. I'm one of the ministers, but with no formal responsibilities this morning. The boy is restless even before the service begins.
We open with some notices and a reading from Psalm 103. The boy is getting louder and more distruptive. "We're a big family"says the service leader. Welcome to the family! (and truth be told: we are welcome.)
Then he reaches Psalm 103:12
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;A moment of grace - I'm tempted to get annoyed with my son. I shush him. I'm frustrated. But in that moment - I'm reminded and refreshed - I am the restless five year old in the arms of the Father from whom every family gets its name, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ and all those graciously adopted into his family. He's not embarrassed with me. He's not chiding me. He's being compassionate with me. In Christ, mine are "...the affections of a Father who will never let [me] go."
As the first song begins, we exit to the foyer to spin around and dance and jump and wrestle properly, before his group starts. "Son I love you," I whisper in his ear, and his eyes shine brightly.
Image - Creative Commons - tonko43