I hoped that whoever it was couldn’t see me. And just to make sure, I tried to make myself invisible by shrinking further down behind my dad’s legs. When that didn’t work, I simply hid behind my hymn book, and only lowered it when it was time to trudge to the next corner.
I was here under duress. Given the choice, I would much rather be climbing the laburnum trees that hung over our driveway, or bouncing around dangerously on my pogo stick, or lying on my bed reading my latest Schoolfriend comic. Yet here I was, standing on street corners, singing hymns with four of my seven siblings while my dad, in his loud preacher’s voice, invited all who would pass by, and all who would hide behind curtains, to come to our small village church.
My mum and dad and their eight children must have been an answer to prayer for that little congregation. We were a ready-made Sunday school, with a preacher, teacher, and evangelist rolled into one.
Not even the British rain could dampen my dad’s enthusiasm. Sunday after Sunday, he would drive around the neighborhood and load up our car with a rag-tag bunch of children who jostled on knees and hung out of windows until the doors burst open and kids spilled out into a tiny church to hear about a man called Jesus.
And this I learn: we are called to be people of the parable; shepherds of the sheep; sowers of the seed.
Because even though that tiny church will never open its doors again;
even though my dad now sits, unable to walk…
somewhere out there is someone who knows about Jesus because of what he did.
And somewhere out there in this big old world is someone who believes in God because they peeped through a flowered curtain to spy on a little singing band in the street.
And now, I’m proud that I was part of it.