“Mama, I want you to take me to mass on Sunday. I want to know God like you know him.”
This is what my five year old daughter Boo told me two weeks ago. I felt a rush of shame. She put so much faith in me by saying she wanted to know God like I do. Honestly, I don’t want her to know God like I know him. I want her to know him better.
I was baptized Catholic, went to Catholic school, and was raised by Catholic standards. I have had a long absence from the Catholic Church. For ten years or better I have avoided the church. Why? A variety of reasons, I was young, then I was too busy for church, then I disagreed with some of the church’s teachings and views, and then I drifted away completely.
Then I drifted further away when I felt shame for not being married in the Catholic church, or not having any of my three daughters baptized. A wedge was driven. Not by the church, but by me. No one was judging me, I was judging myself.
So at my daughters request we went to mass that Sunday. Sitting in that pew felt like coming home. I was greeted by warm smiles and honest fellowship. Some of the attendants I recognized from my days at Catholic church and school. The priest’s words held meaning for me, and I did feel a little closer to God.
All this time I have been the one turning my back. Making excuses to turn away. I have driven the invisible wedge. It has been my own doing. And my own undoing.
I am thankful that I chose to send Boo to preschool at the Catholic school I myself went to. They have planted a seed of faith in her heart for God that I hadn’t.
I am thankful for my five year old shepherd that has brought me, the lost sheep, back to the flock.