It is about 6:45pm.  Brian and I are finally sitting down to eat supper (the kids had eaten before), Christian’s therapist is starting his notes about the day, and the kids are downstairs watching Fraggle Rock.  All of the sudden, Christian marches up to the kitchen, tears in his eyes, walks over by me and says something that I totally don’t understand.  I look at Brian.  He shrugs.  I look at CS.  He shakes his head.  I ask Christian to repeat himself.  He does, but I’m still not sure what he said…but it sounded like “church.”

“Church???” I ask Christian.  “Yes.” he says.

“Church?” I ask again.  Thinking, “Really???”  Again, he replies, “Yes.”

And my mind starts racing.  My child, who doesn’t ask for much without many prompts, is now asking for church.  Do I get up and take him, even though my husband just recently got home and we just started eating???  We ask Christian a few more times about “church” and he insists every time that this is his wish.

So, I wolf down my supper, convince Christian to get more dressed, find my phone, grab the phonebook, and head out the door.  It is 7pm on a Thursday night. 

My mind races as we make our 17 minute drive northward — I’m hoping that someone will be there working late.  If I have to call a pastor to open the building, which one will I call?  What will I do with Christian once we get there?  Will Christian even want to go in?  What will Christian want to do?  Why does he want to be at church now?  Etc.

We pull in the parking lot and find it empty.  I was glad to have grabbed the phonebook.  I ask Christian if he wants to go in.  He says, “In.  Yes.” pointing to the building.  OK.  I call up the pastor with children who are away from home.  No one answers.

I ask Christian again if he really wants to go in.  “In.  Yes.” he says.  Reluctantly, I call the pastor who has three small children at home and a wife who is ready to have another any day.  He says that he’ll be there in five minutes.

I spend the next five minutes preparing myself for whatever might happen when Pastor K. arrives.  (Thanks so much for coming over, Pastor!!!)  He opens the door, makes sure that there isn’t anything else that we need, and leaves us there to do what we need to do.  Believe me, I am curious.

First thing Christian does is to run to the “Child Training Room” where we always sit during church.  Then he stands there peering through the windows into the sanctuary.  And stands there.  I’m not sure what to do, so I ask him if he wants to pray.  He folds his hands and sits down on the pew.

I start, “Thank you, Jesus.”  Christian continues, “We love you, Jesus.  Amen.”  Then I say The Lord’s Prayer and Christian joins in on the “Amen.”  Not knowing what to do next, I start singing whatever comes to mind, “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow,”  “What a Friend We Have In Jesus,” and “Holy, Holy, Holy.”  During the last one, Christian lets out an ear-piercing screech that he sustains for at least 20 seconds while he holds his hands over his ears. 

I stop and just watch him.

When he is done screeching, he starts his “Christian dance” and his “happy screaming.”  This goes on for what feels like an hour, but is probably just a couple of minutes.  I just sit and watch.  Perhaps this is Christian’s way to Shout to God with cries of joy (Ps 47:1).

When he is finished, he runs out of the room to find a Bible in the library and pages through it.  And like that, he is done and ready to go.  We hop in the car and make our way back home.

I like to question why Christian does what he does, but tonight it doesn’t really matter.  For whatever reason, Christian needed to be at church.  I was glad that I was the one who was able to take him to his Father’s House.