There’s no denying the fact that we’re a religious/spiritual/Christian family. Chris and I are both undergrad religion majors. And Chris had to two-up me by getting a Masters and Doctorate in Theology. Chris and I both serve in churches. We also live a life that (we hope) exemplifies Christ’s love for everyone. So of course, God is part of our family’s story.
Once the girls came home with us, we discovered that they also had a Christian background. But in a very different church than churches Chris and I have ever been a part of. From stories BW tells us, it sounds like they attended an African American church where the congregation was encouraged to not be wasps, as Chris and I had been encouraged to be growing up. BW spoke about her birth mom and her often taking the mic to sing and give testimony during worship.
This is very different from my memories of church. I can recall when a friend stood up in the 2000+ member church I attended to give a testimony. No one knew what to do. Talk about hearing a pin drop! And I can remember having some usher telling a couple friends and me during a Sunday morning worship service to be quiet. With these and other memories, the thought of taking the mic without preparing a prayer or what you’re going to say ahead of time is very foreign to me.
Family is as important as religion.
The first summer the girls came home with us, we were sure to see our family as often as possible. Within a week, we saw my parents and sister who live hundreds and thousands of miles away. We continued to visit my parents as often as possible so the girls got to know Grammy and Grampy. This also meant that we attended Sunday morning worship with my parents since most of our trips occurred on the weekend.
We quickly discovered that the girls’ background with Christianity meant that they knew a few common church songs. BW and MW could sing “Jesus Loves Me” and “Jesus Loves the Little Children” when they came home with us. They also seemed accustomed to praying, which we do multiple times a day as a family.
But I was definitely caught off guard the first time BW told me she was talking to God.
I’m talking to God.
On one of the first trips we took to my parents’ house, we couldn’t find BW. She had gone inside the house after playing outside for awhile. I thought she was coming right back outside but after about 10 minutes, there was no sign of her.
So I walked inside to find her and didn’t see her immediately. I walked through the living room, into the play room and then to the kitchen. As far as I could tell, she was not on the main level. But the rug in the living room was rolled up. Something wasn’t right.
“BW?” I asked while standing in the living. That’s when I heard a faint, “What?” Well, at least she was in the house.
“Where are you?” I asked. That’s when I heard her say, “I’m in the rug.”
I’m sure I scrunched up my face, confused. I didn’t quite know what to say. That’s when I asked what she was doing. Her response?
“I’M TALKING TO GOD.”
I let her be. Why disturb someone when they’re talking to God?