Sermon Art

I never know what I’ll see my kids doodling during the sermon while we sit quietly in rows, mostly looking forward. With a notebook in her lap, my six-year-old usually draws hearts and flowers with big skies and suns that consume the corner of the paper, with straight lines for the sun rays. My eight-year-old boy, on the other hand, usually draws elaborate scenes of stick figures falling into the mouth of a great shark that protrudes from the bottom margin; from the top margin dangle army helicopters with stick figures who are descending on lines, elaborate assault rifles in hand. And then further down the row sits the pre-teen on whose lap are anime-style portraits of girls with gargantuan eyes and skinny necks. Next to her is the teen who no longer doodles but listens, one leg crossed over the other, foot swinging restlessly back and forth. It’s quite a juxtaposition, this art displayed on laps spanning the row beside me.

Last night when we stood to sing, my six-year-old stood tall and sang. Then when we sat to listen, she doodled in her notebook. And at some point I looked over and saw she was writing. And my heart was stilled. She was writing her own song of praise to God. It was the best art I’ve seen on those laps yet.

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