Easter Sunday. It was fun to watch the little girls in their Easter finery and new dress-up shoes. They looked lovely and, at least for a while, behaved like little ladies, too!
After the traditional Easter breakfast, when we left the basement dining room, I watched a first-grader going up the stairs just a few steps ahead of me. Still in her pretty dress, she now carried her new Easter shoes to facilitate her tripping lightly up the stairs.
I was serving as liturgist that morning and was on the platform during the early part of the service. Again, I got to watch the little girls in their pretty spring dresses. They took their places on the floor for the children’s message and paid close attention as the pastor taught them.
From my ringside seat on the platform, I watched the scene unfold. When the pastor asked them to join him in prayer, I continued to watch. (OOPS! Should I have had my eyes closed?)
While it is traditional form to close our eyes during prayer, I don’t find it a written command to do so. Nevertheless, it is expected. It helps keep us focused. But I was wrapped up in the little ones and their response.
While most of them did close their eyes, a couple broke with tradition. One tiny one didn’t seem quite sure what to do as she surveyed the group and found both – eyes closed and eyes open.
Then, there was another little girl – just a bit older, I think, and a little wiser in church protocol. Though she definitely knew what was expected of her and others, she looked around. And around. Then she looked to where I was seated and saw my eyes were open as well.
Apparently not quite sure what she saw, she peered at me from a different angle. Then she peeked around the child next to her and looked again. Finally, it was decision time. She would keep her eyes open, seemingly thinking, “If that lady on the platform can keep her eyes open, I don’t have to close mine either.”
I had been caught!
Now, open or closed eyes during prayer time is not of great consequence, but if this little one could reason that out, won’t she also reason out other adult behaviors that don’t seem to coincide with what she is being taught?
Proverbs 22:6 cautions, “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Right now, bowing the head and closing the eyes are little details to the children in our midst, but as they grow, we must be careful what behaviors (both words and actions) we manifest so they will remain steadfast and sure as they mature and face life’s challenges.
Remember, someone IS watching your life and that may make the difference of that person accepting Christ as Savior or not. I don’t want to be responsible for the “NOT” in that, do you?