The apse window in Trinity Cathedral. Photo by Emily Hylden
An airline that offers child-free space. The glories of a childless lifestyle. It’s a whole new level of children-should-be-not-heard — we’re moving toward children-need-not-actually-exist. Even in Christian circles, where one might imagine that children are celebrated — our Lord surely celebrated young lives — reproduction is “a very personal decision” (an Evangelical friend of mine posts to Facebook), and Children’s Church, or ushering-young-people-out-of-worship-spaces, is systemic. At one parish I served, we had contemporaneous services for those in 5th grade or younger, and for the grownups (surely that’s the way it will be in Heaven, right?).
As I learned anew on a trip over Labor Day to visit my godson and his family, children reshuffle things. They interrupt incessantly (when they aren’t actively interrupting your conversation, they’re probably destroying something in the next room), and dismantle like it’s their job, and eat up time and schedules as if they are ravenous clocks. Who wouldn’t want to live with less disorder? Who wouldn’t want to ship off these little whirlwinds for a moment of peace in the midst of the Eucharist?
How many times might God wish that we’d just quiet down for a moment, and stop making so many messes, and just sit still to listen?