Yesterday at church we had communion. Our kids had eaten the bread and drunk the grape juice before, but it seemed like Ashlyn got it at a new level this time.
With Rachelle, Melía and Brielle in the mother's room, I had the rare privilege of one-to-one time with her during the whole service. It gave me time to explain things as we ate and drank. (Usually at that point I'm doing damage control on spillage and wishing the carpet were a darker, purpler shade.)
In the car that afternoon, out of the blue, Ashlyn reminded us:
"The grape juice is blood--for pretend. And for real life, the bread is bread. But for pretend, it's Jesus'...Jesus'...body."
What a strange religion she must think her parents are raising her in. One week we're celebrating a baby's birth, and the next we're eating His body and drinking His blood.
Hardly G-rated stuff--even for grown-ups.
Tons of Jesus' original listeners were so weirded out by this concept that they abandoned ship (John 6:53-68). Maybe I should be worried these gory symbols might scare off my little ones too. Being a cannibalistic apprentice of such a bizarre and demanding Teacher could be downright frightening.
Maybe that should disturb me.
But more than any of that, I hope such an early acquaintance with this ritual will not spoil the scandal of what God did for her. I hope the realism of His brokenness never ceases to jar her. I pray the depth of His descent, His passion to be closer to her than food is to her tummy--never seem normal.
I hope this sort of pretending disturbs her--for real life.