Theology in the Trenches: Truth-be-told

Kathleen Kjolhaug
Religion Columnist

I’m going to tell you a story, and it’s true, every single word.

Little Lakynn Rose: “Gramma. Why it dark?”

The stage setting set the backdrop. 

Mere minutes ago, little Lakynn Rose and I dropped her sister off at preschool and upon leaving, we completed our ritual. We sauntered past the church sanctuary within the building in which we were.

You see, our very first visit to this sacred space was embedded in this little one’s mind and now, each time we pass, her memories are ever present. There was construction going on at the time, and all lights were lit. The doors were wide open, and the gateway into this area held intrigue for the little one in tow.

We made our way through the construction zone, up to the wooden cross upon the altar discussing any and all questions that were on the mind of a two year old. There were many. That was several weeks ago.

Each week, as we returned, the scene in the sanctuary presented itself differently, and once construction was completed, the lights were often out, the doors locked, and the crucifix up front would sometimes be lit ... or not. With nose pressed to glass, her comments would flow as to whether or not she could see the light behind the cross. Once she had taken in the scene before her, she told all she met along the journey out what it was she had seen.

Today, as luck would have it, the doors were unlocked. We made our way to the back pew and once seated, the conversation began with the original question. “Why dark?”

And the conversation continued.

Grandma: “Why is it so dark in here little Lakynn Rose? It’s dark, so we can see the light. If it wasn’t dark, we couldn’t see the light! Do you want to go up front and see the cross to better see the light?”

Little Lakynn Rose: “No.”

Grandma: “Well, let’s just go slowly.”

Pew by pew we made our way to the front, and as I led, she followed.

We soon arrived near the altar looking up at the large lit cross. In silence ... in the darkened church we stood. For many a minute we stood and stared up at the light.

As we turned to make our way back, she asked. “Gramma, Why we go?”

Grandma: “Because, Lakynn Rose, we need to go and tell everyone what we saw.” Amen.

(Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)