When Josh was four or five he wandered to the athletic fields which border our yard and he found a dad striping the fields in preparation for the upcoming athletic season, and the dad had his son with him as well.
The son was four or five, like Josh.
And they played together for a bit, and then the boy said, “Hey, wanna be friends?”
And Josh said, “No. Wanna be buddies?”
And the boy agreed. And they’ve been best friends since that moment.
The first time Josh traveled to the Camino de Santiago, I was with him. We landed in Florida on our way home and Josh called Joe as soon as he could.
I think Josh even said he dreamt that they saw each other again the night before.
When we returned from the Camino de Santiago the second time around, we turned the corner of our block…and saw that our garage door was open. We were like, “Nooooo. We’ve been gone for two and a half weeks and we left our garage door open.”
But then we saw that, nope, it was just Joe. He had taken our ladder out of the garage so he could watch for us from the roof with our other friend, Ryan.
That’s Joe. And Joe’s younger brother and Paul were friends, too. In fact, when the younger brother was confirmed, he asked Paul to be his confirmation sponsor.
On Sunday, Joe’s youngest brother was confirmed…and he asked Josh to be his confirmation sponsor.
I loved it. I sat in the pew and said to Joe, “How old is he now, six?”
Then Joe and I laughed.
But that didn’t seem that long ago.
At one point the priest told the bishop, as a part of the mass, that the young people had been prepared for this day.
And then I smiled.
Because we’re never really prepared, are we?
I’ve been baptized for years, and I’m still not prepared for this: for God to call me His child.
I’ve been receiving the Eucharist for years, and I’m still not prepared: JESUS?? I can’t prepare. It’s all grace.
The Holy Spirit worked in my heart at confirmation, I still don’t know what to do with this.
And the bishop said, “There are two parts today: the part that God does, and the part that you do. I’m not worried about God…He keeps His promises.”
He does. And He helps us do our best. All is grace.
After the mass my siblings ate cookies and Joe’s dad said, “Isn’t this great? I love celebrating sacraments, I think they’re so great to celebrate.”
And I totally agree.
At their house, afterwards, there was an OMELETTE bar. Brilliant, right?
I ordered all the vegetables.
Oh, and gluten-free guests meant I ate gluten-free muffins and a waffle and a sliver of coffee cake. It was breakfast and lunch for me, don’t judge too harshly.
So I celebrated it all: the lifelong friendships forged in a soccer field almost twenty years ago, the young man now anointed with the Holy Spirit, my youngest brother and another youngest brother linked in faith…and a party to boot.
So many blessings, so much grace.
Thanks be to God.
And then I took their gluten-free snacks home with me so I could celebrate all week.