The way I remember it, I would squint my eyes shut real tight. I'd sit for a minute and try to block out any outer noise. I thought the same thing over and over.
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
No matter how hard I tried, it never worked. The Bible told me in the very first book that before God created anything, He lived in darkness and there was nothing. I wanted to recreate that in my mind.
As a child, we lived close to a methodist church. They would often host soup suppers and, even though it wasn't the church we regularly attended, we'd usually go get a bowl of soup and a piece of bundt cake. It's the only place where I ever saw a bundt cake and I thought they looked remarkable but never tasted as good as they looked. One particular Saturday, seated around a table having soup with our neighbors, Priscilla directed a statement at me:
"You sure have a pretty singing voice. I heard you singing a song clear down at my place the other day."
Mom had "the look" perfected. It's still got a pretty good effect on me. She gave me the look and I explained to her that I was out on the porch singing earlier that week. She'd turned on the vacuum cleaner inside, making it hard to hear my own voice. So I had to sing at the top of my lungs. Apparently, that was loud enough for the neighbors to hear me a quarter mile down our gravel road.
Do Lord, oh do Lord, oh do you remember me? &
I've got a home in glory land that outshines the sun... way beyond the blue.
I always loved the Christmas story. What a cast of characters. My favorite, though, were the angels. Not the one with the speaking part necessarily. The choir of angels. Those shepherds heard a concert like no other that night and I wondered how it sounded. One Sunday as a teenager, our pianist, Terri, played and sang during the Lord's Supper. It was a moment of transcendence. God hasn't let me hear that heavenly choir of angels yet, but he let me hear a glimpse on an ordinary Sunday morning at that Baptist church in town.
On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross
The emblem of suffering and shame.
Then He'll call me someday to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I'll share.
Throughout my childhood, I probably learned at least a hundred verses. They still come to mind more readily than anything I try to fit in my mind today. The earliest verse in my memory is Psalm 122:1
I was glad when they said unto me, "Let us go to church."
It could be my life verse. In my 40+ years, I've been a part of nine churches and I have fond memories of each one. I remember the buildings themselves and the wonderful people I met inside. The church, she's been good to me.
What memories do you have of your faith as a child? Did you have a favorite song or Bible verse? A particular Bible story that blew your little, developing mind? I'd encourage you to write down what comes to mind. Think about your children and how faith has impacted them too. For the longest time, my daughter could not get over Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt. The faith of our childhood is foundational to where our faith journey will take us as an adult. Celebrate your beginnings.