We're not religious people. Jim and I both grew up Catholic but for whatever reasons it didn't stick and/or I realized my set of beliefs didn't sync up. It almost feels like you shouldn't admit that you don't go to church, or even feel bad about it. My God doesn't mind, that's what I think.
So when James suddenly told us that he believes in God, we were like, "Okay." Don't know where he got it, but we accepted it.
My plan was always for James to explore religion and figure out what's going to stick with him. I thought we'd do a tour of churches but sadly I like to lounge on Sundays. Horrible excuse, I know.
And then one day in August I asked James what he wanted to do that day. He said he wanted to go to church. Who am I to deny that??
The friendliest church I know is in Anoka. I've actually been here with James before, for a Justin's Gift ice cream social. That organization supports our gay students and families. The church also has a huge rainbow banner on its outside, which is excellent. It means they are accepting and loving.
So we went. Mario came with us too. He must believe in God too!
Inside we met an elderly man I explained that I just wanted to show James the church. He seemed prepared to take us into the chapel but I asked to go in alone with James. I want to be the one to answer his questions and start his "journey". It was also going to be our moment.
We talked about why there are churches, why people pray, etc. James said the sweetest prayer, something about hoping that all kids have food and love in the world. I was very proud of him.
And then he wanted to approach the altar. He didin't say much. He just looked and then was satisfied.
He does want to return to church, but doesn't know if he wants to see the "show" (his word, not mine) for up to an hour.
He did get excited when I showed him this hymnal and one of the first pages we see mentions a pure heart. Oh, this boy loves his Mario games and one of the objectives in Super Paper Mario is to collect pure hearts. Surely its a sign!
There was no singing on this fieldtrip.
There really hasn't been a mention of returning to church either, but I'm sure we'll go again some day soon.
The worst part of this experience was going to the Christian store in Blaine. It was musty and crowded with statues of saints. I couldn't find any children's bibles that weren't all hell-bent and full of sins.
I feel like I really need to be selective about what he's going to read. No random books. It's been a lot to think about.
We did purchase a Children's Bible, after I asked a couple of Mom friends for a recommendation. I wanted something fairly non-demoninational and nothing too heavy. He's only 6. So I did find a Bible and James has loved it. We've read through it twice, all the stories of the Old and New testaments.
So James loves God, and God loves him.
We're still not quite sure what to do with all of this, but we are just letting it happen.