A few weeks ago at church, there was a baby crying during the middle of the sermon.
Here is what immediately went through my head.
1. Am I the only one that hears that right now? No one else is looking back in that general area. Maybe this is my super power?
2. Heightened hearing? Is that the best superpower? The hearing of a bat?
3. Oh man, I hope my superpower is not just an ability to hear crying babies in crowded rooms. That would be the lamest superpower ever.
4. Except for the character Scarlett Johannson is playing in The Avengers. I love that scene in the trailer where they’re all back to back in the middle of the street. The Incredible Hulk is looking massive. Captain America is standing there with his crazy strength. Iron Man is all suited up. Thor has his mythological hammer. And then Scarlett cocks a handgun. Seriously? She’s a teammate of Thor, and she’s bringing a pistol to the party? If I’m a supernatural villain, I’m thinking “How adorable, tiny bullets!”
5. Don’t be that guy. Don’t you dare look back to see which baby it is.
6. But it’s so hard not to. I’m not judging. I’m just curious. That kid has some lungs! I feel like he’s probably standing up right now with both arms raised above his head victoriously. I gotta see this.
7. I live in Nashville. Maybe that kid will grow up to be the next Garth Brooks, and if I just sneak a glance back I’ll be able to say, “I saw Garth Brooks sing once when he was a baby. Sure hated sermons on spiritual warfare. I’ll tell you that right now.”
8. You can’t turn back to look at a screaming baby and not look like you hate babies. And people who bring babies into church.
9. Maybe they’re a visitor. And it’s their first kid. And their puppy died this morning as well. You’re such a jerk.
10. Remember how hard it was to get L.E. to go to the nursery when she was a baby? She wailed in the hall like you were dropping her off at baby prison. Have some empathy.
11. As a parent, it’s not easy to hand some stranger your baby and, in return, receive an elastic bracelet with a number on it. You vet babysitters at home like you’re the CIA, and now on Sunday morning you’re supposed to just walk up to a stranger in a brightly colored t-shirt and say, “Here’s my baby. I sure hope you’re not crazy. See you in an hour!” Have some empathy.
12. Be careful about writing about this on SCL. Even the faintest hint of suggesting that someone bring their kid to Sunday School instead of big church is libel to stir up some controversy. Like Rob Bell and Harry Potter.
13. Is there a verse where Jesus says, “Don’t you dare drop your kids off at Sunday School?” In the Sermon on the Mount did he ever say, “This next part is for the kids in the crowd. Could they join me up front for a minute?” At that point, did he dismiss them?
14. If we’re supposed to take our kids to big church and have them experience the same sermon adults experience, how come none of the disciples were little kids? How come we never heard about Timmy, the 4-year old disciple who used to get all grouchy when he hadn’t had a nap in a while and got sick of eating fish and loaves? Timmy wanted some chicken fingers!
Eventually the baby stopped crying. Or they took him out of the room. I’m not certain because I didn’t look back at the kid. Cause I love Jesus. And puppies.
How about you?
What goes through your head when you hear a baby cry?