This last Sunday I attended a baby shower. It’s probably my tenth or twelfth shower in the last year. Sometimes, I have a shower two out of every four Sundays for months in a row.
We have a young church. We shower every marriage and every baby. Every. Baby.
Can I be real with you? Before I became the preacher’s wife at Round Rock Church of Christ I had a certain, shall we say, “light disdain” for showers. I saw them as frilly parties, superficial and unimportant.
Did I just say that out loud?
For some reason I’d decided teaching and serving the poor were the important jobs in the kingdom and throwing parties was, well, need we even act like they compare?
I think I disliked showers for another reason, too. I saw them as traditional “women’s work,” and I ran away as fast as I could.
Here’s what I’ve learned though in the last few years of faithful shower attendance: Showers ARE church.
You know how the first century Christians would share their stuff, how they’d sell a field to make sure their friends had food, how they’d liquidate belongings to ensure a brother had a bed?
That’s what happens at showers. Showers are an opportunity for one person to benefit from the wealth of every person.
I’ve watched young women sit beside a mountain of presents speechless, unsure of what to say, how to thank the people around her, people who have provided in some cases, every single thing she’ll need to care for her baby or stock her new kitchen.
When I had my daughter London I received so many outfits I didn’t have to buy a thing.
With my daughter Eve a gift card shower ensured we wouldn’t pay for groceries or diapers for two months.
On Sunday my friend Joy, eight months round, opened a pair of pajamas and said, “Now he has something to sleep in.”
I thought of her little baby boy lying in a crib wrapped in the love of God’s people, his family.
Showers aren’t just about stuff (although the stuff matters); they’re about community, support, and love. I see that in the shower circle, the way women gather around the new mother or bride, eyes fixed on her.
A lot of people don’t go to showers. They see them in the church bulletin, they think “That’s nice” and go on their merry way. I totally understand. But let me encourage you to not do that.
Go to the shower. Bring a generous gift. Write something kind in the card. Help your brothers and sisters, because the ones starting out on a new adventure are often the ones most in need of encouragement, belonging, hope, love, and yes, stuff.
There it is: my defense of showers. Who thought I’d ever write that? ;)