She sits quietly flipping the pages of her illustrated Bible for children.
Crowded faces behind peer over her shoulder to peek at the pictures they never had.
The big people stand up.
She kicks her muddy shoes on the bare-board pew just in front of her.
You see, this is church.
But it is not church as I have ever known it.
This is church in a foreign language.
Our kids are learning Swahili, but we haven’t pushed French yet. We usually attend the French service, and while it is all well-known to Kent and I, we know Anna isn’t getting much. She has started to recognize songs and try to sing them. Last week we sang a familiar tune:
“Je suis fort, fort! Oui plus que vainqeurs
par le sang… de Jesus!”
[translation: “I am strong! More than conquerors because of the blood of Jesus!” Okay that sounds weird in English, but it sounds good in French, trust me.]
I didn’t realize until we got home that Anna was singing (at the top of her lungs no less) this same tune. “Sese fo, fo. we nanana” She’s making sense of something and proclaiming it from the rooftops. I have to admit, as a linguist who loves languages it was a little disturbing to hear her murdering the French, but she’s only 3. James, at almost 8, can sing all the words and those of a few other songs as well, but he’ll never outsing his vociferous little sister. =)
The girl has volume I have never known. Opera future? maybe. She’s right there with Olivia the Pig. Yesterday we talked about the Nutcracker and ballet and she promptly donned her Fancy Nancy tap shoes and tried a tap routine. She really only slipped those two times because the shoes were on the wrong feet. Dancer?
Whatever she becomes, I pray everyday she knows and understands where real strength comes from. For now we’ll go with ‘Sese fo!’