I miss Marilyn, but I am in love with another beautiful girl.
No, Marilyn the Catechetical puppet has not been replaced, nor has she been found. The sad reality is that she has been missing from our church since some time around New Years. However I have found a new beautiful girl who warms my soul.
This past Sunday after Divine Liturgy one of our youngest parishioners, a child of 2 or 3 years (who’s name I treasure, but did not ask if I could print) together with her dad handed me a orange muppet wearing a pink Disney princess dress. “She knows you miss Marilyn…” conveys the dad, “…so she decided to give you her puppet.” Her eyes looked into mine to see my reaction as I lifted her precious princess.
Wow! What precious love and concern from a child. Giving her own loved possession to someone else because he is sad, and realizing that she may never get it back. (I will return the puppet today). If this is the state of our youngest people, I know we are in great hands.
As a parent I often forget that God put kids into our world to teach us and to show us what His Kingdom is all about. To help us grow up. Too often we adults think we need to show “those kids” how to behave properly, when in actuality we need to learn how to pray and play from our kids. Children do things with great sincerely; with their whole hearts. They even trust that their precious puppet friends can serve a greater purpose such as making another person happy.
Over the past week I have spent a ton of time thinking about, and talking about, how we as a church need to focus more on serving our youth. We discussed programs to teach, others for prayer, some to serve with, and others to fundraise with… we talked about how we need more volunteer help (perhaps even hired help) to implement events, evangelize others, work closer with our Catholic Schools. There was a lot of very good and necessary discussion on a very good and necessary topic.
But is our attitude the right one? Are we hoping to bolster our youth so that we can continue in the future? Or do we recognize our need to be surrounded by young people because they are the teachers and preachers of the present?
“At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” Matthew 11:25-26
It is time for us pay due attention to our little teachers. Let us pour forth our love and our energy into them. For if we do not we will never learn the ways of God.
To my new little sweet-heart: Your beautiful orange princess puppet is in the sacristy waiting for you. Thank you for letting me have her for a week.
To whom ever may know where Marilyn is: please help us find her. She has a lot of history. If she is gone (gasp), let us know (anonymously if need be) and we shall move on.