Eating Skittles with Jesus

Yeah I can make you sing. Whatcha gonna do about it?

One of Gabby’s favorite snacks is Skittles. She gets a small cup every Sunday during Sunday School at church.

Yesterday, she was in the midst of enjoying such a cup as we looked for a seat for the worship service. The wife, Teen, and the Teen’s friend squeezed into a pew that unknown to them had no room for us two, so we sat in the left-hand set of pews. As we stood to sing the first hymn, Gabby saw her friend, M, in the pew in front of us. She ventured off that way. I didn’t deter her, but kept her in view as the congregation sang.

Within seconds, she and M left their seats to sit a few pews back with another little friend. Again, I didn’t mind. I kept singing. In mid-song, M’s momma showed up. Being a member of the choir, she walked to the alter to take her seat mid-song. Her daughter followed.

And, of course, so did Gabby.

As the church sang, Gabby scampered up on stage and stood with M and M’s momma. She looked around, smiled and ate a couple of Skittles. When the song ended, everyone sat down. Gabby saw an empty chair and took it. She didn’t seem to mind it was the chair up front to the left of the preacher’s lectern.

As a deacon took the alter to welcome everyone, a sweet lady behind me tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, “You should take a picture of her up there. She looks so cute. You’ll want to remember this.”

Of course, my weekly Sunday ritual does not involve carrying a camera to church (Forgive me Marie). So I just smiled and took in the sight of Gabby nonchalantly getting up and saying hello to another friend sitting with her momma in the choir. After a few seconds of whispering, she returned to her seat to the pastor’s left to eat more Skittles.

As the deacon was finishing up the announcements, Gabby decided she wanted company. She slipped off her seat, stood at the alter and said, “Momma? Where are you momma?”

That was my cue. I got up and, trying not to be too disruptive, I picked her up and we sat in that all-too-prominent chair. Before I could get comfortable, it was time for another song. Thus I made my choir debut – beside M’s mom, reading her hymnal, holding a cutie in a yellow dress, white tights and a face smeared with rainbows.

When the song was done, we again sat. The deacon started taking prayer requests. Gabby got antsy. “Daddy, I want some water.”

“In a minute, sweetie,” I whispered. “In a minute.”

“I want some water now, da-da! I need it!”

Seeking not to steal attention from those in real need, I stood and carried her off the alter. We headed downstairs to the water cooler and then the nursery. Children’s church would start soon.

After the service, two men of the choir approached me. “About time we got you on stage. We’re gonna have to get Gabby up there every Sunday if it will get you singing with us.”

Bring your cameras. But you will leave that tape recorder home.


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