Sunday, January 3, 2016

Hallowing Service

File:Drouais, François-Hubert - The Children of the Duc de Bouillon - 1756.jpg

              Today in sacrament meeting I glanced over at a sweet little girl. She was standing at her father’s knee coloring papers he held on his lap. She couldn’t have been more than three years old. The scene was so precious: her large, innocent, round eyes focused so intently on the crayon in her hand, her father so carefully holding the closed hymnbook as a desk for the paper.

                In His ministry, nothing stopped Jesus Christ in His tracks like children. Why is that? Let me ask you this. What hallows a home, a heart, a character, our world more than love for a child? Is there anything more sanctifying than a mother’s love and service for her child?  Weren’t the walls of my home hallowed as I rocked and sang to my children, stopping my life in its tracks to focus on them? Whether I intended it or not, for that time, I became more like my Savior.

File:Albert Anker Die ältere Schwester c1889.jpg

                Interacting with and teaching other people’s children has a sanctifying effect on us, too. However, whether or not we let our hearts become hallowed is a different matter. We must allow our hearts to soften as we prepare our lessons and teach. We must awaken in us the dormant child of yesteryear so we can empathize with a child’s plight.

                Preparing a lesson and reviewing your plans in your mind, with the audience in prime consideration, is different than preparing a lesson to survive another Sunday by barely doing your duty. I get you. We’ve all been there. Adults can become frustrated by the tedium of teaching Sunday after Sunday, year after year.  Many a Sunday I sat on the front row, feeling forgotten by God. But during Sharing Time, as children clambered on and off my lap, I would inevitably cast my eyes on the painting of the Savior that hung in the front of our Primary room.

                I knew if He were to be in the building He’d be with the children, stopped in His tracks and focused on them, delight in His eyes as they told him their stories and He told them His. And besides, who would be in that chair if I wasn’t? I loved those little children. They were dear to me. Couldn’t I sit with them one more Sunday and another after that as the Savior would have me do? Couldn’t I watch my hour… or hour and forty five minutes as current Primary trends have it now? Couldn’t I stand in His stead, letting them feel His love one Sunday longer?

File:Gebhard Fugel Lasset die Kindlein zu mir kommen.jpg

                Those were just some musings I had today as I prepared myself to brave my first day (in years) in Relief Society. It felt wrong, sitting in class, being taught with nobody wiggling around me. Though I saw another miracle of women succoring and lifting other women with testimonies, my mind was back on that little girl who was surely eating Cheerios in nursery by then. I couldn’t help but wonder what will sanctify me when I am not serving children.

                So it was with an odd sense of joy that I came home today to look up resources for Primary teachers, hoping that some part of me, on this ever dragging Fast Sunday, would be sanctified in service to children.

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