I sat in a pew for church yesterday, third from the front on the font side, right behind our class of Confirmation students. A baby gurgled and squawked somewhere behind me throughout the service, and I exercised the needed discipline to not turn and look. My look would have been only curiosity, not judgment, but I was sure it would have been received as the latter. So I didn’t look.
When I got up with the Confirmation students and introduced them along with all of their leaders, I named the two leaders who weren’t there. I hadn’t seen them that morning, and so I just said their names and added that they couldn’t be here today. After Confirmation I returned to the pew.
When the service ended I stood up and causally looked around to find the baby. There she was, being held in a side pew by her mother, the Confirmation leader I said couldn’t be here today.
I should have looked sooner.