Tuesday, June 10, 2008


This past Sunday was "Children's Sunday" at our church. (For the record, I'm not a fan of "Children's Sunday." Either we're a community or not and having a "Children's Sunday" suggests that anything happening on other Sundays isn't for children. My voice in this matter isn't entirely ignored since we no longer have "Youth Sundays.") As part of the day, the kids go up front and sing a song.

My 4 year old took her place up front and the song began and she got that nervous look in her eye and then, holding back tears, motioned for me to come to her. I did and she cried a bit and said she didn't want to sing. Soon enough (well, maybe not for her) the song was over and we went back to our pew. Several folks around us told her what a good job she did.

Then she said something that absolutely floored me.

"I was afraid I wouldn't be perfect."


You see there are motions that go along with the song and she didn't feel like she knew the motions well enough.

"Honey, who told you that you have to be perfect?" I asked. We talked briefly and I told her no one is perfect and that her mom and I love her and always will no matter what. I encouraged her to always do her best and that would always be good enough.

In the process of doing this I felt like my valiant efforts were falling well short of their intended target.

I'm still not sure where a four year old gets the idea that she has to be perfect. I can't help but wonder if she got that idea from me, but I sure hope I don't communicate that kind of expectation to her. A friend commented that it's a first child thing...I dunno.

It raises many thoughts in my mind, not the least of which is how do our attitudes about ourselves impact our view of God? These thoughts aren't fully formed yet so I won't get into them just yet.


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