I’ve taken him every single day since the new school year began on August 23rd.
It was a deal I made with him, to ease the transition from being at home for the summer to going back into the classroom for six hours each day.
Between working on his IEP goals, attending speech, occupational, and physical therapy and adaptive PE, then coming home and spending the next several hours being challenged during his in-home behavioral intervention program, Andrew is truly one of the hardest working kids I know.
It’s only natural I would want to reward him.
Some kids would want to go to Chuck E. Cheese.
Some kids would plead to be taken to Disneyland.
Still others would beg for ice cream, or cookies or cookies made out of ice cream.
Andrew wants none of these things.
His heart is set on one place, and one place only, and so each day after I pick him up and cover him with kisses, we buckle up our seat belts and drive to his favorite place on earth by a long shot.
I feel many things when I witness the all-encompassing joy that surrounds my son when he’s in a church: awe, envy, confusion, pride, happiness, hope, wonder.
Sometimes, as he stands in front of the alter and looks up toward a heaven I cannot seem to find, I feel as if I’m eavesdropping on a very private moment and I try to give him as much space as I can safely allow.
Sometimes, I want to scream, “I WANT TO SEE WHAT YOU SEE! I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW! I WANT TO FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL!!!” Because when I enter the same church he does, I feel many things, but peace and tranquility and unconditional love are not usually one of them.
But it’s not my place to do that, and my son does not owe me any answers.
For now, it’s enough that I’m able to witness firsthand the incredible transformation that occurs when he is is here, this place that he finds to be sacred in a way I never have.
But maybe that’s God’s plan.
All this time I’ve kept thinking it’s my job to lead my son, but maybe this is God’s way of telling me to start following him instead.
And so, every day, at approximately 2:20 p.m, we find ourselves pulling into the parking lot of our local Catholic church.
And every day, there’s this unmistakable sensation that washes over me as I watch Andrew enter through the doors in a way that tells me he is home.
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and
the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
and a little child shall lead them.”
8 Replies to “And a Little Child Shall Lead Them.”
Jo – this is my first visit here and I am so glad I have found your little space. This post socked me in the heart. My daughter is profoundly disabled and the one place on this earth she is always calm and happy is our church…our Catholic Church. She knows deep in her heart that God is there and she wants to be where He is. I look at the pictures of your son and I know that he feels the same way.
They lead us each and every day these precious ones.They teach us how to love unconditionally and how to sacrifice with joy. I don’t know God’s plan for me or my daughter but I know I love her with all I have and it makes my mother’s heart sing to see her smile as she hears the choir sing.
Blessings to you and your son Jo and thanks for sharing him with us.
You always make me cry!!! Beautiful!!!
Beautiful post. I recently came across your blog and I’m glad I did. My son also loves churches, it’s one of his obsessions along with big industrial chimneys and hills. He can spot a steeple like no other. He loves moseying round the places. Those photos were so sweet of your little man.
Thank you so much Kerrie! And thank you for stopping by. I love that your kiddo loves chimneys. Andrew’s other big passion is garbage trucks and garbage cans! So fun! hahah!
I came across your blog from a friend’s post about another blog you wrote regarding the Presidential Election. I noticed this story on the side and was curious what your blog would be about. It was so beautiful and touching! Your writing truly made me see what you saw in your son. I felt myself standing in my church looking up to the ceiling and also being in awe of the stained glass windows. I like going to different churches to look at the beauty and feel the peace and reverence. Maybe your son would like to see or try different churches too! You’ve got another subscriber here!
Not sure how I missed this one, Jo. This is…breathtaking. Looking at the pictures, at the joy and wonder in his face, the pure bliss, the laughter. It is clear that he is seeing, feeling, experiencing something so many of us don’t. If that’s God, I’ll take it. So unfettered from the dogma, the expectations…
Such a beautiful little boy. These pictures are so moving. Thanks for sharing.
I loved it. My husband & I are pastors, & my calling has been to work with children in some way my entire life. I feel the awe, the love, the sacredness, the peace in the presence of Jesus, & your son expresses this so well. Thank you for sharing.