“Amen Is Beautiful!”
By Susan Hudson of Mansfield, TX, USA
The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. —Isaiah 11:6, 9 NRSV
Samantha came to visit me last weekend. Sunday morning she took a couple of bites of her waffle sandwich, chewing slowly. She was not in any hurry at all. Time means nothing to a three year old!
When we arrived at church, I picked up an activity bag for her—filled with crayons, stickers, and coloring books. She showed no interest in coloring, but she was all over the stickers. We worked on those while she settled in, getting ready to be still and quiet. She does move around a lot, but she is always quiet and respectful of the worshipful energy of the congregation.
As an infant she loved the hymns. Held in her mother’s arms, she would hum just loud enough for us to hear while we were singing. Now that she is a toddler, she loves to hear the piano and seems fascinated by the hymnals.
While we were standing and singing she gently tugged on my shirt. I leaned down to hear what she wanted to tell me, and she said, “Amen is beautiful.”
That was all—and we had not even sung the amen yet. She was expressing her own spirituality. I agreed with her and when we got to the end of the hymn, I bent down to show her the word on the page as we sang it, long and slow, “AAAA-mennnnn.” She said again, “It’s beautiful.”
After the service she graced each person who came over to us with her solemn, wide-eyed pronouncement that “Amen is beautiful.” Each person agreed with her and thanked her for telling them. I was so happy to be able to watch her offer her special ministry, for that is what it was.
I looked up the definition of amen in the online Merriam-Webster® Dictionary: “used to express solemn ratification (as of an expression of faith) or hearty approval (as of an assertion).”
Expressions of faith and agreement are indeed beautiful! Perhaps this is what Samantha sensed in church that day. I believe that she knows and remembers God, and is sensitive to the Spirit. Amen, Amen, Samantha!
Suggested hymn: “Ameni” Community of Christ Sings 113.
Prayer for Peace
God of the tiny sparrow, who listens for the tiny voice, teach us to listen closely too. Amen.
Spiritual Practice: Listening to Children
Sit in your quiet place and center your heart and mind on God’s presence. Spend several minutes asking God to bring to your awareness the names and images of children in your life. You may see their faces or hear their voices as you receive these impressions. Listen deeply to the unique gifts and needs of the children who come to mind. Offer a prayer of blessing for each child and the needs you sense. If you feel led, you also may want to write a note or card and give a message of affirmation and love to each child.
Today, God, I will give attention to the deep meaning and beautiful sound of each word I sing.