Thursday, September 22, 2011

We Learn Faith Through Rainbows

Last night was Open House at CCD (Religious Education). This year my daughter will receive her First Holy Communion. Open House starts off with a Prayer Service in Church and then the students and parents report to the classrooms to meet their teachers. Madi’s teacher has moved up with her from 1st grade so they were very happy with hugs to see each other.

When we arrived to Church we were one of the first families there. The three of us picked our Pew and then I started explaining a few things to JP. He was never quiet from that point on. He wasn’t loud, just not silent. He is, of course, a little boy.

As we waited for Prayer Service to begin I couldn’t help but say Prayer after Prayer for a friend of mine in Montana. He is on my mind constantly these days as he documents his journey through Testicular Cancer with all of his supporters on his FB Prayer Board. He lives an open book. Which although is amazing and honorable in itself, is a true testament to the kind of genuine sincere human being he is.

Prayer Service began with Deacon Pete and then two readings from CCD students. I don’t remember much about them as I was in my own little world starring straight at the stained glass window depicting Jesus’ Crucifixion. It had been rainy and cloudy all day and therefore the window was subtle in its vibrant colors piecing the puzzle together.

Deacon Pete then took to the pulpit. He didn’t read, he hadn’t memorized. This was just an informal little Open House Prayer Service anyway. What he did do was strike me. He began with a pat on the back. He told our small group of parents how he admired us, how he was in awe of us, for raising our children in this world which we live in. He told us it is so much different than the world he raised his three children in and how he appreciated all we must go through on a daily basis. And yet, somehow, we found the time to bring our children to CCD and continue our Faith through them.

As I watched Deacon Pete I was overwhelmed at how he had aged since the last time I saw him. He was my 8th grade CCD Teacher such a long time ago; before he lost his wife; before he was a Grandpa; before he became a Deacon; before he had become so fragile. And I couldn’t help but get wrapped up in his sermon as he spoke.

He continued. The week before his wife passed on, one of their Grandchildren was trying to climb into her fragile lap. The child’s parent told her “no, no, let’s not bother Grandma.” Grandma put up her hand in a stop motion and said “No, No. You leave her be. We taught you children Faith through Life. We will also learn Faith through Death.”

It was about that time that JP wanted me to hold him. As I got him situated on my lap, the stained glass window that had been subtle with the clouds behind it began to shine. JP pointed out the “rainbows” on the carpet that the colorful glass was making. He was a little too loud, but I didn’t care. The sun had broken through the clouds and the window was overflowing with light.

As Deacon Pete reminded us all of the importance of our own Faith and teaching our children through Faith, I looked down at mine and couldn’t help but smile. And cry.

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