Saturday, August 23, 2003


"There's nothing wrong with Southern Baptists...I just wish they'd hold them under water a little longer"- Kinky Friedman

I'm about to go to a Baptism service. It's for two little girls in our church. I was briefly the Sunday school teacher for one of them, Chloe.

Chloe is hard to describe. She is nine years old and has never met a stranger. She fears no one. In a church of introverts, Chloe stands out. It's not uncommon to find her dancing about in the church parking lot, or encouraging other kids to dash among the unkempt and unruly wildflowers.

Chloe is often the first person to greet church visitors, grabbing their hands and dragging them into the sanctuary, showing them the things she believes are most important, like the donuts we serve before service.

A few weeks ago I had to draw the line and ask her not to roller skate inside the church. She smiled and skated outside...then skated back in, only to be reminded again.

Chloe is a handful.

A few times she's come to church without her Mom and has sat with me while Amy leads music. Chloe will wiggle and squirm. She will do all sorts of things to try to get my attention. She'll tug on my sleeve and point out something she's drawn on the order of worship. She'll reach in my pockets to see if there's anything of interest (she didn't understand it when she found my nasal spray mid-sermon and I never did find an appropriate time to explain my Afrin addiction).

She exudes love and truly hopes to be the center of the universe. Chloe can drive some of our older, more staid, church members crazy.

Every week during our prayer concerns Chloe raises her hand and asks for, "prayers for the Gypsy people" and our missionaries working to spread the gospel to them.

Today was a long day which I spent much of working in the heat. I am tired and tempted to skip tonight's service.

But it's Chloe.

I couldn't miss this.

This little girl who upsets our old folks, grabs our newcomers, shoves her love on everyone even before they come through the church doors. This child who is distracted and distracting is also dismaying and disarming. Annoying and anointing.

Chloe is committing her life to Christ...our Savior. Whom many might describe in much the same way....though probably never on roller skates.