Poison Dart Frogs are some of the tiniest and beautiful creatures on the planet; they are also incrediably deadly. So, why call this blog "Tiny Dart Frog"? It goes back to the old adage - good things come in small packages. We are all created exactly as God has intended - unique, strong, and beautiful.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
The Secret of the White Swan
Every year around Pentecost I am reminded of this conversation with my oldest son. He's 13 now, but I still recall this as if it was yesterday. Fire, wind, dove, water, tongues...swan?
You know the drill... the kids are called up front for the children's message and the pastor asks a fairly innocuous question related to God and the lessons of the day. One Sunday when my boys were aged 7, 5, and 3 the pastor of my home congregation called all the kids up front and asked, "Why do you come to church?"
They raised their hands and answered his question with things like:
"To talk to God."
"To learn about the the Ten Commandments."
"Because my parents make me..."
My oldest son raised his hand and said, "To learn about the secret of the white swan."
The pastor looked at me, looked at him, and then said, "What?"
My son adamantly said, "You know! The secret of the white swan."
The pastor quickly brushed it to the side and moved on with his lesson, because what do you do with that?
Well, later on, as we all climbed into the car, I said, "Carter, tell me about the secret of the white swan..." Now he's totally frustrated.
"Mom," he says, "you know...the secret of the white swan!"
"No, I'm sorry I don't know, honey."
With an exaggerated sigh he starts to explain with large hand motions from the back seat of the van.
"You know...it's when they take the baby and put him in the bath tub and then the big white swan comes down [large rushing hand motions] and lands on the baby's head."
Ah, now I have it, but this is a very comical image to me. A giant swan plopping down on a baby's head. I envision the baby hardly being able to breathe. So, through my stifled giggles I say, "Oh. Carter you mean when a baby is baptized...".
He looks at me as if I'm the one who's finally getting it. "Yeah, Mom. Uh - the secret of the white swan, that's what I've been saying."
"It's a dove and a font," I say.
"Dove. Swan. Same thing. Who cares. It's still what church is all about and that was the question."
My name is Christine Stephan, although I answer mostly to Mom or Pastor.
I am a Lutheran pastor for an amazing group of Jesus' disciples just outside Washington DC AND a mom to 3 of the best boys in the universe.
I blog here about family and faith and frustrations....That thing we call 'life'.
My boys are passionate about all things legos, anything involving a ball, video games, and chocolate.
I am an avid runner, a lover of interesting books and deep conversation, a very amateur writer, and also a lover of chocolate.
I also love theology (which is weird, I know), but I don't love theology more than Jesus.
This blog is hardly ever profound, but it is real. As a pastor and I mom, I find 'real' to be more helpful in my journey with Jesus than crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's.