The All Nations Church meeting on Sunday mornings is not a quiet gathering. The drummer plays hard and the electric guitar and bass fill out the instrument mix. There's a lot of shouting and agreement among the people, and just as much enthusiasm in the preaching. It's pretty fun; lots of laughter.
When Isaac was born, we knew Sunday mornings would continue to be part of our weekly routine. I was hesitant, but never doubted we would make it happen; we had about twenty other mamas as examples that it was indeed possible to port a newborn into the Sunday morning gathering, along with hyper toddlers and talkative five year olds.
Isaac actually slept through Sunday mornings for much of his early months of life. I now enjoy seeing other babies doing the same thing - more recently, little Zachary and Joshua Michael are pretty good Sunday morning sleepers. As Isaac grows, he adapts - from hanging out with the babes in nursery, to knowing where to find his snack in the diaper bag, to learning to give people "props" and "high fives" while insisting he remains in the arms of Ben or myself.
When Isaac started walking, we entered a whole new Sunday morning realm. I watched the other mamas closely for strategies on how to keep kidlets in their seats, when and where it seemed appropriate to allow roaming, how to start to teach about worship while also staying occupied. I was up for the challenge (I had to be) - Ben and I began discussing boundaries and strategies - I was about to start to survey other mamas, delving into their reasoning for certain approaches.
And then my concerns were put on hold.
One Sunday morning, a couple of months ago, in the midst of worship, Isaac's head went heavy, he put it down on my chest, and fell asleep. I relished the moment. Cuddles with Isaac are a rarity. My arms started to ache so we sat down and rested there in the midst of worship.
Since then, he has made a regular habit of sleeping during worship. Sometimes when he wakes up, I have a drool spot on my shirt. Sometimes we have to wake him up to go to nursery. A couple weeks ago, Rhys was sitting beside us and thought Isaac's sleep habits were funny. He started pulling on his foot, rubbing his head... but no sirree... Isaac insisted on sleeping away, undisturbed by his older cousin's amusement.
I have wondered if he's bored, or if he's going to become a teenager who nods off during great Sunday preaches. I've wondered if I should get him to sit on his own or insist he stays with his daddy-o, so he doesn't weigh me down and force me to sit during such an important time. This past Sunday, I dismissed these considerations/worries. I decided he's just ovecome with the peace of God while God's people gather together in unity to worship as a community. There's a rest and quietness of heart in God's presence wherever we go - but it's different in a gathering.
How good and pleasant it is when God's people dwell together in unity. It is like precious oil (Holy Spirit anointing for peace, ability, healing, power...) poured out on our heads, down our faces, our priestly faces, all over our clothes. It's like the dew of the morning, blanketing the mountains. There the Lord commands His blessing, even life forevermore (Psalm 133).