Tonight when it was time to leave church, I could see the tears welling up in her eyes. She has been keeping Emerald in the church nursery every Wednesday and every Sunday night, but tonight as she cleaned up the leftover Goldfish crackers and began saying her goodbyes, she couldn’t hold back the tears. She dabbed at her eyes with a napkin.
It was her last night. She has new opportunities and a busy schedule, and she had to let something go. So, here she was, a former stranger, standing in front of my child with tears streaming down. Emerald was perched in a chair next to me, holding my hand and preparing to jump off, in true wild child fashion, and the two looked at each other for a brief moment before the teary words came:
I love you very much, okay?
She didn’t wait for Emerald to respond. It was as if she just needed to say it, for the sake of her own breaking heart.
As I stood watching her move about the room, cleaning and straightening as she usually does, tears still flowing, I was struck by how wonderful it is to have people in churches who are willing to love, laugh with, and get to know our children. I won’t soon forget the precious moment when she looked Emerald in the face and said I love you.
I hope she knows what a difference she has made, just by loving one little baby, one Wednesday night at a time.