I attended a Christening last weekend. I’ve been to many.
During the various rites and prayers, I found myself observing how casually dressed many in attendance were. Ripped sweatshirts. Ragged t-shirts. Torn jeans.
Some were checking their phones, one listening through earbuds.
And when the time came for the Our Father prayer, many needed prompting in order to finish, not knowing the words most Christians know by heart from their youth.
But then, like a light in darkness, I saw one particular guest. An old man in a wheelchair. He was pushed far up front in the center aisle by his family who wanted him to see everything happening around the altar and by the baptismal font. At the conclusion of the ceremony, several members of his family carefully carried him, in the chair, up the steps toward the font so that he could be in every configuration of photograph to commemorate the day. Every photograph. They handed the newly baptized child to him for many of them and the man’s joy was obvious, uncontainable in fact. I was drawn to him. It was the joy. Attendant family members put their arms around him for the photos, hugged him, did not conceal their deep love for him. The cellphone checkers and t-shirt wearers faded from my view as I became fixated on the man in the wheelchair, surrounded by the fruits of his life.
Clearly, he has done something very right.
I contrast this with some of the individuals I have visited in nursing homes. I think of one man who I often found with his chair pointed into a corner of his room. For endless hours, he sat staring into that corner. This despite the fact that he has several children and grandchildren, many who live nearby to his nursing home. Never in all of my visits did I see any of them.
One man surrounded by those who love him, attendant to his every need, wanting to forever preserve the memory of a baptism with this treasured family member. Another sits alone in a facility, chair facing a faceless wall.
What of their occupations? Their possessions? Accomplishments? Stature? What from their lives do they bring to a baptismal font? Or to a darkened corner of a unknown room?
Where will you be one day? What are you doing today to guarantee your place there?
What will you be grateful for?
Will you be grateful?
Ed and I would like to express our gratitude to our loyal 2 Guys Photo followers who check out the blog, even during our sometimes life-induced absences. We’re both grateful for our families. For all of our blessings. To those of you celebrating Thanksgiving today, Happy Thanksgiving. May you have much to be grateful for!
As usual, your posts are insightful and poignant. As we approach the twilight of our lives, we would all do well to take stock in our families – one day they will be all that’s left.
Let me be the first on this day of Thanksgiving to wish you and your families a happy and healthy holiday. Spend it surrounded by those dear to you. Above all, take the time to thank The One who has made it all possible.
Thank you, Frank. Amen to you.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
What a beautiful photo and story! Thanks for those touching words of real meaning! I am thankful beyond belief for so many things! I will write a post on my blog later to express the things I am thankful for. http://www.yourdalyhug.blogpost.com Look for it this evening after you have eaten dinner! Have a blessed day with your family and friends Rey and Ed.
Oops…. http://www.yourdalyhug.blogspot.com Not sure why I type blogpost sometimes? Silly ol clown :0).
Hey thanks, Rodney. I’ll check our your post later today. You also have a blessed day!
This is a very heart warming post. We all are getting close to this point in our lives. Your words touched my heart for those who do not have family that show the love of the ones at the celebration. I too am thankful for the love of family.
Happy Thanksgiving to you, Ray and your families!
Thanks very much, Donna!
Wonderful, Rey. We all have much to be grateful for. There will be a christening upcoming for our first grandchildren…yes grandchildren. Our daughter is expecting identical twin girls in January. Now that’s something to be thankful for.
All the best to you and Ed and your families. It’s all about families on this special day.
I am grateful that I found your blog – always a joy to visit!
Beautiful truthful piece.
Wow Rey; this was moving and wonderful. It makes me rethink some of the decisions I’ve made…
Thank you, Clay. You know what they say… it’s never too late…