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Your Screaming Kids are Distracting Me

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Meg Hunter-Kilmer - published on 05/07/15

Or maybe offer up your distractions and frustrations for their parents, who are so much more distracted and frustrated than you. Take this as a sign that God is calling you out of yourself.

Because if the normal noises of normal children are going to distract me, I was going to be distracted anyway. By cute clothes or cute men or split ends or whatever. And nobody’s suggesting that we wear burqas to Mass or segregate our congregations or require frequent trims. Unlike most of the thoughts that grab my easily-distracted mind, the screams of your children are a distraction that draw me to deeper prayer.

So take them to the cry room if you want–or stay in the pew. Lord knows that at many churches if you’re in the cry room you’re practically not at Mass, it’s such a circus in there. Keep them as quiet as you can however you want to–I won’t judge. They’re going to be ridiculous and you’re gong to be embarrassed, but taking them to Mass gives them grace, earns you years off of purgatory, and breaks my hardened heart just a little bit.

On behalf of those of us who don’t understand the sacrifices you make to bring your kids to the wedding feast, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for judging you and being annoyed at you and rolling my eyes and everything else that focuses on me instead of on us. Your kids are a very important part of us, even–especially–when they won’t stop yelling.

Because yes, your kids are distracting me. They’re distracting me from my narcissism. They’re distracting me from the idol I’ve made of worship, making me encounter God as he really is, not as I want him to be. They’re distracting me from the endless series of irrelevant thoughts that occupy my “praying” mind.

Your screaming kids are distracting me. Thank you for that.

Meg Hunter-Kilmer
writes for her blog "Held By His Pierced Hands," where this article was originally published. It is reprinted here with kind permission. She also
travels around the country speaking to youth and adults, leading retreats and parish missions.

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