Let the Children Come to Me – The Eyes of a Young Catechumen
In our parish we have a family who is seeking to become Orthodox.
The most beautiful aspect, in my opinion, is the excitement of the two daughters who are 12 and 9 years old. The first time they came to the church Fr. Jonathan offered to teach them how to light a candle. Something so simple and small. I will admit that even I thought they would view this to be silly, but the oldest one eagerly and excitedly grabbed her younger sister and with pure joy they went up the stairs. When they left the church the youngest said, “I like this church”.
The next week when they arrived they eagerly waved to me from the car. With even more excitement they introduced their friend, who they brought along because she slept over the night before. This little girl lives down the block and so only came because she wanted to come. She has since come again with the girls and now attends Sunday School with them.
The girls are in our First Confession class to give them an overview of the faith. They eagerly asked where I had been for two weeks and wanted to know everything about a chrismation, since I had attended one. In discussing the chrismation the oldest girl excitedly mentioned (again) how they were going to become Orthodox soon.
I do not know how much of his own excitement the father shares at home with his daughters, but I do know he works 6 days a week over an hour away from home. It is clear that regardless of the time he has with his girls they have a strong family bond and as a family they are looking forward to entering the fullness of the church.
I have become so caught up in the beauty of the excitement for the faith from these children. I have seen it often in college and other adults converting to the faith, but there is something so unique and pure about these little girl’s wonder and fascination with the faith.
Our children are, indeed, inherently drawn to the church. We must learn from them and do everything in our power to nurture the good that is inside them. Because God created them perfect, in His Image and likeness.