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!