Under the Pew
The grand girl’s played hard basketball today, dosed well with decongestant strips and Tylenol Meltaways.
While she bathes, I fill a plastic container with popped corn, sprinkle it with some of the white cheddar seasoning she likes. (This is the second bag. Did you know that hot popped corn will melt a baggie?)
I slip the container into a small cloth bag, the one she painted in Sunday School, along with a stick of cheese, a small bottle of Sprite, a couple of packs of tissue, napkins, a little bag of gobstoppers and a ziplock bag for trash.
She slips on some comfy black sweats, her pink Mackinac Island T-shirt, topped with a fuscia and blue fleece jacket. She hugs her pink princess blanket, and we drive to church where she curls up next to me, head on my shoulder, mid-center pew, to watch The Gospel of John in a darkened sanctuary with banging furnace pipes.
Soon we’re engrossed in the story of Jesus’ life, though we whisper throughout. She asks questions and keeps a running count of the miracles. She’s shocked at Jesus’ anger at the money changers.
I follow the water–baptismal water, wine water, healing water, well water–and a thirsty Savior.
Grace winces at the whip lashes and gasps when the soldier plunges the spear, gags a little as the blood and water ooze. She asks if it was all that bad, and I tell her that it was much worse. I tell her how some believe that gush was a sign of a broken heart–and that Jesus did it all for her.
When the movie’s over, she kneels on the rose carpet to pick up stray popcorn kernels.
I point to the front left pew and tell her that’s the place.
Papa and her mom, when she was younger than Grace, sat there when I sang in the choir. I tell her how Papa was engrossed in the sermon and how from my seat I could see her mother under the pew–with a pencil. I could not catch Papa’s attention for several minutes.
She asks if she can go look, and I say sure. And so she crawls under the pew and starts giggling. “Mama wrote her ABC’s!”
“Really? That’s there? Nuh-uh!”
My husband crawls under and confirms, and Grace can hardly wait to tell her mom how she made her Y and J backwards.