Every time we go to our church, my three-year old daughter becomes excited. It’s not an excitement based on going somewhere different. It is an excitement that you feel when you are about to meet someone famous.
Have you ever met someone famous? It is very similar to how you felt when you went on your very first date with that cute guy/gal that you pined over for months in school. Butterflies in your stomach, anxiety over the right thing to say, hoping you didn’t embarrass yourself by saying the wrong things, feeling that light-headed, giddiness that made you hold your breath in the anticipation of just getting near that person who captured your every waking thought.
That is the exact same electricity Miss B brings into the car with her as we drive to church. That isn’t even the amount of excitement that exits the vehicle with her, it’s bigger than she is. Just as the anticipation swells to get a glimpse of that one person who causes your pulse to quicken and your breath to catch in your throat, that is the palpable tension that she brings with her to that building every single time she visits.
As she exits our car, she becomes excited at the thought of tasting “Church Water” in her classroom and her steps turn into half dancing, half prancing toe-taps that lead her through the glass doors into the Narthex. Miss B audibly inhales deep breaths and exhales little, high-pitched delighted squeals as she gets closer to the middle of the room to the Welcome Desk. My parents and Aunt serve behind that desk each week and she is happy to see them but invariably, she always asks for her favorite “celebrity”.
“Mommy, I want to see Jesus!” Right behind that Welcome Desk is a huge painting of Jesus. (Before she was introduced to the man in the picture, she knew it was Jesus and told us so. Her little convicted heart just KNEW it.) Every single time, I point to his picture and say, “There is Jesus”. And each and every time, she replies “I want to see go to the Jesus Room and see Jesus!” Who can argue with such a vehement request?
We turn around and walk the few steps into the Sanctuary which has a small sound booth, rows of pews, a raised platform with band instruments, the pulpit and an extremely large wooden cross hanging from the ceiling over the choir loft. There are no pictures or notable signs of Jesus.
As soon as we walk through the double doors into that sacred space, Miss B sharply inhales and bursts out with such delight that you can’t help but become infected with her exuberance. I find myself giggling at her excitement, it’s quite contagious. She can’t seem to contain her enthusiasm and quite frankly, neither can I. She always wants to sit as close to the front pews as possible without actually choosing the front and she bounces up and down with all the self-propelled adrenaline that pumps so quickly through her body. The fervor, the electric fluidity, the unbridled passion that propels that baby to seek His Face.
I want to see Jesus in the Jesus Room! I want to experience Jesus just like Miss B! I want to be so excited to drink Church Water that I don’t want to drink anything else. I want to hunger and thirst for the Living Water every time I know I am going to any place of worship.
“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:14, NIV). How refreshing does that sound to you? I am convinced that God’s precious Holy Spirit inhabits our church right down to the water served with snack in the Toddler rooms. I see it in her eyes as they glisten with His light. I know that she knows Jesus because Psalm 139:13 states
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”Miss B declares that she knows what He looks like because she has met Him before. She describes His light and His big love as part of what she knows about Jesus. Her limited earth time has been so short and yet she KNOWS our risen Savior as well as her heart knows mine.
She seeks him with unbridled exhilaration in the most unexpected places as well as the church building.
Jesus said, “‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” (Mark 10:14-16)I have no ounce of doubt in my mind that Miss B was once held close to Jesus’ chest as He placed His nail-scarred hands on her precious little head and blessed her before she was born. She oozes His Holy Spirit from her tiny pores.
May we seek Jesus as the little ones do, with fire, frenzy and unbridled fervor that emanates from our nerve endings through our skin and explodes into the air like a thirty-minute fireworks display on the 4th of July every day of the week and twice on Sunday. I want to see Jesus in the Jesus Room and drink “Church Water”.
As the lady in the café scene of “When Harry Met Sally” states, “I’ll have what she’s having.”