Her mother reached over and pulled her close while whispering in her ear. The girl scowled and pulled away. “But she isn’t a stranger. Her name is Jessie. Right?” she looked up at me with another smile.
“We are in church. That means you need to be quiet, sit nice, and put your hands together,” the mother scolded.
The girl was still for just a bit, but it was too much for her. She slid back and forth on the smooth wood of the pew. Her mother shook her head. The girl stopped momentarily and then hopped off the pew.
Before her mother could say anything, she grabbed a hymn book from the pocket on the back of the pew in front of us. The mother sighed and lifted her back onto the pew between us.
She began flipping through the hymn book stopping on the page with the song titled ‘Jesus Loves Me’. “Mommy, how can God and Jesus be the same person?”
“They aren’t. Jesus is God’s son.”
“But the teacher said Jesus was God as a person.”
“Shhh.” The mother put her finger up to her own lips.
The girl was quiet for perhaps an entire minute. “Mommy, why do we worship a big wood cross? The bible says we shouldn’t worship idols.”
The mother gasped, blushed and looked at me apologetically. “Honey we don’t worship idols. We worship God.”
“Then why do we have a great big cross up there?” The girl pointed at the cross.
“Shhh!” hissed the mother. “Come with me.” She grabbed the young girl by the hand and exited the pew with the girl running behind her to keep up.
“Bye, bye,” said the little girl as she waved at me.