April 28, 2014
I need a frank case.
I told my husband and fully expected him to offer assistance. Instead, he asked, bewildered: “What’s a frank case?”
I explained that it’s a small bag in which you pack shampoo, toothpaste, and medicine. He insisted he had never heard of such a thing; his family called such a contraption a toiletry bag. I silently thought to myself that it was a shame he wasn’t as urbane and sophisticated as me. Until I learned the truth about the frank case.
See, my parents had a small gray case that we used for toiletries throughout my childhood. It was “the frank case.” Several months after my conversation with my husband, I confided in my parents. My poor husband didn’t even know what a frank case was. They looked at me, then at each other. And then they dissolved into rolling laughter. When they could catch their breath, they explained.
Before I was born, they were in line at an airport in Germany. The man ahead of them had too much luggage and had to leave a piece behind. My parents, poor and eager, adopted the small gray case and slipped out the ID card. Yup, you guessed it. The man’s name was Frank.
Yesterday was the final performance of the children’s choirs for the season. The cherub choir, ages four through first grade, sings about once a month or so. But the children in the other choir, second through sixth grade, robe up every other week. It’s not a special song-and-dance when they sing but rather an important and regular participation in leading worship. Seeing children as leaders in their own right has been a long practice in the congregation.
In fact, at the offertory, the choir director invited members of the congregation who had been a part of the choir as children to come up and join the current choir. Together, they sang, “Our God is an Awesome God.”
Older sisters and brothers gathered, as did moms and dads, grandparents, and aunts. Generations stood together, sang together, led worship and praised God together.
The things we teach our children influence them in profound and lasting ways. As parents and adults, we never know which lessons our children are absorbing. Maybe it’s calling a toiletry bag a frank case. Or perhaps it’s realizing early on that we all are beloved by God, that we each have something to contribute to God’s glory.