When I was about four my parents moved to a new place and joined a new church. We became active in the local First Methodist Church. The sanctuary was lovely, with huge stained glass windows, and we sang hymns to a pipe organ in the choir loft. My parents sang in the choir and music was a normal part of life.
During childhood my sister and I would play church when we visited Nana, our maternal grandmother. I suppose it would be more accurate to say we played church choir; we used some small red books as hymnals and Nana's old sewing machine was the organ. Her sewing machine was in a cabinet on legs and the front panel pulled open from right to left. On the backside of this panel were two long boxes with lids, one above the other. Each was maybe a foot long, 2-3 inches deep, and 3-4 inches high. They served as two organ manuals, or keyboards. We pretended to sing and play, two of the more popular hymns being Holy, Holy, Holy and Faith of Our Fathers.
The organ and books were in my uncle's upstairs bedroom. Sometimes we went from there to a spot halfway down the steps to the living room. At this point the living room wall opened halfway up, and we could stand looking into it and pretend to be singing in the choir loft.
I do not know why I remember this. I suppose it was fun at the time; it involved music. As I thought about this memory I remembered other things, such as feeling comfortable at church and generally enjoying some aspects of it.
During my teen years church seemed to revolve around choir and friends. This continued until I was 14, at which time I made a switch to spiritual growth and church became more than a "play" experience (see Best Gift post).
While thinking about that today I wondered how many of us continue to just play at church, if we even go. I think it is sad that so many families do not attend church meetings or attend only at holiday time. Maybe one reason is that there was never spiritual interest and growth; it was always just play. In any case, I am grateful for parents who made us go to church on a regular basis. It could not have been easy, but the benefits were worth it. I am so glad they recognized the value of what was taught and the discipline of going. I am so glad that my husband and I have been diligent in this aspect; the harvest has been good!
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