By Joe Rector
Church, like all things, can sometimes be a bit boring. That’s when folks can be seen nodding off or fidgeting in their seats. With that said, I must say the Beaver Ridge United Methodist Church is as lively as any place come Sunday morning. Twin girls always make me smile when they arrive at church.
The girls come in with mom and dad in tow. Sometimes they run down the aisle to their front-row pew. Today, the twins had paper and crayons or markers with them. I almost laughed out loud when their parents separated them, putting a parent between the tykes. My parents did the same thing with my twin brother and me when we were that age. When twins are allowed to sit together, trouble begins brewing. Tickle boxes get turned upside down, and squirming bottoms slide across the pew.
Just as the service began, the mother rose with one twin in the front yanking her toward the hallway and the other one holding mom’s hand and hurrying to keep up. I shook my head and laughed. If my mother had left the sanctuary with us in such a manner, the congregation might well have heard the wails of two boys being switched for some form of misbehavior.
Before long the twins zipped across the front of the sanctuary and to their pew. An exasperated mom walked behind the girls. They might have been back, but neither girl was ready to sit down. Instead, they ran around pews for a couple of circuits. Children’s Church dismissed soon, and the girls were first out the door.
Adults wore a variety of expressions. Some, like me, smiled or even chuckled at the life, the spirit, and the joy of those two little girls spreading through the sanctuary. Others looked surprised at what they witnessed; some sat red-faced with embarrassment as they empathized with the parents. Sadly, some individuals scowled at the running children. They disapproved of the girls’ actions and considered them inappropriate; more than likely, they thought that the parents should have more harshly dealt with such actions.
I remember always being afraid of adults in church. I felt that the choir members were staring at me with laser-focused eyes. To keep them from putting evil eyes on us, Jim and I scooted low on the pew to use the back of the seat in front of us as a shield. Of course, our parents assumed that we were misbehaving and grabbed us and roughly set us up correctly.
I sympathize with the parents of those twins. Like our parents, they sometimes looked furious and exhausted at our behavior. Jim and I didn’t always mean to cause trouble, but our movements, giggles, or loud whispers drew unwelcome attention. Those little girls bring joy to our church family. I look forward to seeing them each week. I would tell those who look unfavorably at the children that the younger people of the church are its future. We who are older have found an extended family there, and we must allow children to be themselves and to contribute to worship in their unique ways. The “big guy” above must have smiled and been pleased that two little ones were expressing delight in their experiences in His house. This world could be a better place if we all lightened up a little and enjoyed our communion with God and His creations, including an adorable set of twin girls.