He is risen!
Church service this morning was particularly special for me. Violet was on her best behavior, the sun was shining, the choir was singing a beautiful song. And then as soon as the song was over and the church was silent — the applause hadn’t begun yet — Violet exclaimed, “Yay!!”
Everyone (most everyone) in the church laughed and smiled. Some turned around to look for the little girl with the pure heart who had given voice to the love that everyone felt this morning.
Later, it was time for the children to go up front and sit around the Pastor, so that he could speak with them. I told Violet it was time to go up front — we sat in the very back row this morning — and before I could say anything else to her, she was gone — walking to the front by herself. There were still many people in the aisle, greeting each other with handshakes and kind smiles. Violet paused, then weaved her way between the adult bodies and made her way to the front of the church.
I remained standing in the back until I saw Violet sit down with the other children. Pastor Gary spoke with them about Jesus’s resurrection. (Duh.) The kids weren’t responding to Pastor’s questions without much gusto. It rather appeared they were half asleep (it was early service, after all). Anyway, the pastor started passing the microphone around the circle of children, asking each of them to say, “Jesus is alive!” It was just quiet repetition until the microphone got to Violet.
She stuttered on ‘Jesus’ the first time, but quickly corrected herself and joyously exclaimed, “Jesus is alive!”
I can still hear her saying it, if I stop what I’m doing and really think about it. Her voice was the most precious thing I have ever heard in my life. It was full of innocence, of joy, of wonder and excitement. It literally brought tears to my eyes. And as I held my arms open for her as she ran back up the aisle to me, those tears splashed onto my cheeks. I was so happy.
The entire church responded to Violet again. But this time it wasn’t all laughs. If I recall correctly, this time it was more like a breath. Sure there were a lot of ‘amen’s and some chuckles, but as a collective, the church inhaled.
I’m probably building this up to be much more than it was, but hey, it’s my blog and I can exaggerate if I want to!
So the church inhaled, bodies gasping from the rush our souls felt as angel wings flapped overhead.
And my daughter is an angel here on earth.