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Never know who you will meet in the pews

One day, I was rummaging through my mama's clippings. Clippings of old articles I had written filled a couple of boxes. They were like a collection of "that'll preach" moments.

Sometimes we just need to hear again the things that have spoken to us in the past. Here is one of those.

"Tired from a long day, I shuffled into church on a revival night. As I slipped into a pew there was a little girl who had a gleam in her eyes. It was a gleam I could connect with as her eyes were lighted with a sparkling fire that hinted of the need to wiggle and squirm.

"As worn out as I was, I could remember the days when being still was really tough for me. I can still feel my mama's little pinches. My children inherited the 'squirm' gene as well. So, this little girl and I made a quick connection, an understanding.

"I glanced down the row and saw a mama still in scrubs flanked on either side by more precious children. She looked as though she had come to listen and to receive. Kind of hard when you've got one that's a live wire drawing your attention.

"Mama and I made eye contact as I gave her little girl a pen and paper. She was grateful for her daughter's preoccupation. She was able to rest and listen.

"Maybe the sudden stillness of drawing became too much for the little girl because to my surprise she laid her little head down on my lap.

"I patted her back as she went off into dreamland. The message from the pulpit seemed to flow along with every gentle rise and fall of this sleeping child's breath. Peace flooded my soul.

"That'll preach. I truly thanked God for this little child showing up on 'my' pew. A friend of mine called this a 'kiss from God.'

She reminded me if this child curled up and resting peacefully next to me was such a joy to me, how much more must God's delight become when we take time to 'rest' in Him. "Be still and know that He is God."

"When we pull away from all our frantic activity and just lay our head down, allowing Him to renew and refresh us it is His pleasure.

"So, there you have it. The evangelist shared 'God sometimes speaks louder than words' and in that moment He spoke loud and clear. He always completes a work. A mama needed to listen, a resting little pew invader revived a tired ol' woman and a lasting lesson was written on my heart."

May your "pews" be occupied with newness, rest and lessons this week, y'all.

Kandi Farris, a freelance correspondent, also is a speaker on matters of faith and values.