When my daughter was sick for months, I could sit in an entire Liturgy or Bible Study without her making a peep. I didn’t get distracted once! Imagine a 2.5 year old sitting and not making a sound? She was so weak, I could actually focus.
Funny how things are because I used to complain when she was healthy because I was not able to focus and pray because she was so active. Then, when she was sick, it put it all in perspective – I wanted to be distracted!
Being distracted meant I had a healthy little girl.
During our annual leave, we have the joy of traveling to various Orthodox churches around the world. We learn many things from our brothers and sisters that help us in our mission here in Africa.
As many moms know, one common thing many of our churches have is a crying room. A crying room is designed for noisy and active children to stay there so that others in the main sanctuary of the church can pray quietly and without distractions. Well . . . distractions from my child and your child.
I have experienced many crying rooms throughout my travels and with two kids.
Here are just a few of my experiences.
One crying room was a “gluten nightmare”! For a mother of a celiac child, I would never want to enter that crying room again! There were crumbs from crackers and cookies ALL over the toys, carpets and benches. I took my little one straight to the showers after walking in that crying room.
In another crying room, there were dirty diapers and toys all over the place.
In every crying room, there were women discussing recipes, children, and other women.
Once during our travel, I finally discovered a crying room that works. Wait, did you hear me?! A crying room that actually works!
You are probably just as shocked as I was. Let me tell you a little bit about my experience. I was in the crying room. And in the beginning it was the usual – two kids running around and making noise, one of them mine. Two moms inside the crying room, each feeling sorry for themselves and trying to pay attention, one of them me. Then, a husband and wife came inside the crying room with their beautiful one-year-old son. Both of the parents were following along in the Liturgy. Both of them were joyfully singing the congregation responses – something I have never heard before in a crying room. Singing, that is.
Then, another family walked in – a husband, wife, and two boys. They were sitting nicely in the crying room. The father would even hush the boys if they got too loud! Hushing children while in the crying room?! The father was teaching his children how to behave in church. Not making an excuse because they were in the crying room.
Then, in walks a lady with a child. She begins to chat with another lady. Something amazing happened. The chatting ladies, who usually dominate the crying room, were drowned out by the husband and wife who were singing so beautifully and loudly. One lady ends up walking out. Gossip and chatting stops. Prayer continues.
The beautiful thing about this family is that no one was an “official” servant of the crying room. They did not sing and pray out of “holy righteousness” or judgment. They did it out of pure love. Love of Christ. Love of their Church. Love of their Child.
I pray this blog encourages you, tired, dear mother who longs to lift up her heart in a liturgical prayer to the Living Christ.
You can make a difference in your church crying room. In your church.
And, honestly, it isn’t about changing our crying rooms, really. It is about our children regardless of their age, next to us, worshipping God.
So – go with another Mom or your husband and sing. Sing loud!
But do it out of Love.
May Christ grant us parents His Grace.
“All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13
Let’s Chat: Share a crying room experience that was victorious!