I was trying to be helpful – really, I was, in my “Gramps” sort of way. Instead, I wound up setting off a mini-crisis.
Or perhaps I should say “sitting off.”
Most of our clan had gathered yesterday to witness the baptism of grandson Jonah. And as things were getting organized for the rite, I was doing my best to entertain Jonah’s big brother Francis.
Wrapping my arms around the energetic 2-year-old, I headed for the nearest pew and took a seat. With my eyes fixed on Francis, I didn’t bother perusing the landing area. But as we settled into place, I heard an entirely unexpected (and disconcerting) “snap!”
Felt something odd, too.
“Something”…as in the artfully-decorated baptismal candle that Jonah’s uncle (and soon-to-be-Godfather) had purchased for him on a recent mission trip to Puerto Rico.
Man, did I feel awful – almost as wrecked as the once-beautiful candle, the top ¼ of which now flapped and wobbled and rolled in a decidedly graceless fashion. Not exactly the look (Uncle) Fr. Chris was going for…when he purchased the sacramental memento.
Fortunately, Jonah’s Daddy is quite the whiz at fixing things…and quicker than you can say “MacGyver”, Shane had fashioned a beeswax weld that got the candle all straightened out (and quite literally saved my backside!), just in time for the ceremony to begin.
Grace then flowed, even as it routinely does, each time we welcome another precious little one into the family of God. Saving grace: Snap! Just like that! Just for the asking, every time we approach the font, or the pool, or the altar.
As for the candle: I noticed that it served its purpose beautifully, and well – dazzling our grandson with its glow…with its promise.
All’s well that ends well, I suppose. Still, I realized today that I am grateful for the brokenness I experienced in that moment. I’m grateful, because it enhanced my ability to see something a little beyond the routine in an infant’s baptism.
A candle, cured. It may not approach the level of healing that Jesus offers the paralytic in Monday’s Gospel reading. But I found myself dazzled by the turn of events, all the same. Dazzled, and in the mood to join the chorus raised by the paralytic’s friends:
Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God,
and, struck with awe, they said,
“We have seen incredible things today.”
Come, Lord Jesus! Come!
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.