It didn’t know the meaning of the word empty!

Recently my co-worker had surgery, her mobility is limited so she has been bringing in her 10 yr old daughter to assist her; get prints from the copier, deliver messages throughout the office, deliver mail. etc. It has been nice to have her around.
I’ve worked at churches for more than 11 years and working at any church coming with its own unique set of issues. Some church offices are very child friendly and others not so much. Sometimes, it depends on the co-workers. At the first church I worked at, all the employees had children. So my kids spent school days off including summer vacation at the church. I always wondered what it was like for them growing up in the church. A few months ago my 17 yr old wrote an essay for school about a place he feels comfortable. Below is an excerpt from his essay:
A place where I feel comfortable is not always around, it comes and goes. Not because I am insecure, but because I am an observant person. I notice things that make even the most comfortable place awkward. However I have come to learn that accepting things makes it easier to become comfortable almost everywhere, when I was a kid I practically grew up in church, my mom was always there because she worked there. As I grew up the place that was my jungle when I played explorer was my comfort zone, even though it was a big silent sanctuary I could see it come to life on Sundays as if it didn’t know the meaning of the word empty. The church environment is a welcoming one…
 
I love intimacy he describes about being in the church building. What a beautiful impression of his years growing up in the church! He was about 4 yrs old when I worked at that particular church. I’d often find him asleep under one of the pews. Sometimes he and his older sister talk about playing in the children’s Sunday school room and all the fun they had with the other children.
Yesterday, my co-worker’s daughter wanted to help with a ministry event that was happening after work. The church I work at is not her home church but she was excited all day, looking forward to helping. I stopped to see how she was doing on my way to the train. She was smiling, busily working along the church organist and music director. I thought back to my son’s essay… “The church environment is a welcoming one…” may this always be!