It’s All Right to Cry

It’s Sunday morning.

Zoe had a rough night last night, spending an hour or two of it in our bed (“We’re all together!” she said with delight; “What’s this?” she asked, patting Mike’s back).  I am hoping against expectation that this does not have implications for her behavior in worship this morning.  What’s that sound?  The laughter of parents around the world, I imagine.

For a busy two-year-old, she does pretty well, but . . . let’s just say, you always know when Zoe is there, and you know if she’s happy or sad or angry or delighted.

So for all the parents headed to church this morning, and for the worshipers lucky enough to be sitting near those parents and their children, here is one quote from Doug Pagitt at the Celebration of Biblical Preaching earlier this month:

“If we don’t have time to stop

and listen to each other cry,

even when we’re doing the important things,

then what are we doing?”

This is why, at Solomon’s Porch, parents are encouraged to keep their crying children in the room.

What happens at your church when little ones cry or scream or climb into the pulpit?  What would you like to see happen?



Filed under Ministry Matters

5 responses to “It’s All Right to Cry

  1. Maggie, Hannah has done all that in church! Even climb up on the pulpit right in the middle of the sermon and start to dance. Lucky for me this has happened once before at the church with a PK and they were all waiting for her to make her move. I learned after that, that sitting in the back is the best for me because then I have time to catch before she get too far. Good luck today!


    • Ha! I always tell parents they don’t have to feel bad if their children make noise in church, since the pastor’s kid is usually the loudest.

      Mike and Zoe came a minute or two late this morning and ended up sitting in the back (usually they’re in the front), and that seemed to work a lot better for Zoe in terms of paying attention and staying (more or less) in the pew.


  2. Jane

    One of our more memorable moments was my child shouting “NEED A POOP!” during communion.


    • Nice! A few weeks ago Zoe was careening wildly around the sanctuary while I said, during the sermon, “I’m no parenting expert . . .” I added an “obviously”, very well-received.


  3. I love this post, and the image of Zoe patting Mike’s back.


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