“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
As Lafayette Christian Preschool wrapped up another year, I had opportunity to participate in the closing ceremonies by praying a blessing over the children and the parents. Before praying for the children, I had opportunity to watch them sing a song they had been practicing for several days.
The teachers were sweet and encouraging as they positioned the children for the big performance. As I watched I knew the teachers were wondering if all of their hard work in teaching the song and preparing for the performance was going to be evident or if it would come off as if they had never rehearsed at all. When you work with children, especially young children, you never know quite what to expect.
- Would they remember the words?
- Would they stand still?
- Would someone start sobbing?
- Would a little girl lift up her dress?
- Would a little boy pull down his pants?
One of the best things about these programs is the audience. These children were not onstage to perform for me. They were not performing for their teachers. They were certainly not performing for Simon Cowell. The children were on that stage singing for an audience packed with their number one fans, their parents, grandparents, and other family members.
As I sat in the front waiting for my cue to step onstage and bless the children, I think I had the best seat in the house. I could see everybody — the children, the teachers, and the audience of family members. I am not sure what was sweeter – seeing and hearing the children singing the songs or watching their parents and grandparents support their precious children.
Some of the children seemed confident. Some seemed a bit uneasy. One or two decided to just stand there without singing or even moving, seemingly overwhelmed by their moment in the spotlight. And then there were the Moms who were waving to their sons. Dads who were videotaping their daughters. Parents and grandparents mouthing, “I love you!” to their children. And, of course, once or twice I saw parents and grandparents reacting to what they were seeing with a “D’oh!”
As I watched the preschool production with all the family dynamics taking place, I thought of how family presents a picture of God’s love. I imagined Jesus watching us perform for Him. I envisioned God being focused on us, waving to get our attention. I pictured the Holy Spirit doing everything possible to assure us of God’s love. As I watched the parents and grandparents I was reminded — that’s the way God is.
Where would we be but for the love of God?