What do the church nursery, parenting and prayer have in common?

I came across this thought-provoking comment from Richard Rohr today:

“When we are fully present, we don’t accomplish presence with our head. Our whole being is present. We learned presence in infancy, but it may have been schooled out of us. Psychologists now say there is no such thing as an infant. There’s only an infant/mother; in the first few years they are one, especially from the infant’s point of view. Infants see themselves entirely mirrored in their parents’ eyes, especially the mother’s. What her eyes tell us about ourselves, we believe and become. It’s a mirroring game. Prayer is much the same; we receive and return the divine gaze (from Everything Belongs, italics mine).

It rings true, doesn’t it? 

So the thoughts it provoked in me were these:

Regarding the church nursery:

√ What does this developmental truth say about the workers we recruit?

√ What does this say about the power of the nursery ministry?

Regarding parenting and family ministry at church:

√ Are we providing so many programs that we are teaching parents to be busy?

√ Am I so concerned about doing the right thing for my kids, that I miss the chance to “be” the right thing?

Regarding prayer and our Heavenly Parent:

√ Am I being quiet, still, present with God, so that I may believe His gaze and allow it to define who I am…and who I am becoming?

As we personally believe and live out the image of God in which we were made, we become prepared to guide young families and their babies to become all that He has made them to be. Our growth toward Him is all about them.

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