A few years ago Rick Jeannerette, the revered play-by-play voice of the Buffalo Sabres, commented after an incredible victory: "This team is scary good!" It became an instant catch-phrase, and the fans ran with it. Not to mention the money-making machine behind the hockey club: T-shirts, hats and bumper stickers emblazoned Rick's comment for all the world to see (and buy). Unfortunately, the team was just...good. But not good enough for the Stanley Cup. No bother. We're from Buffalo. We perfected the word "almost".
Enough about Buffalo sports. Every time we start talking lost championships Scott Norwood starts twitching. Wide right.
Two weeks ago my son, Joseph, received the Eucharist for the first time. This is probably not a big deal to most folks; thousands of third-graders all over the country have done the same this spring. Joseph is our seventh child to receive the sacrament. Something about this one, though, has got me on edge. I have a feeling...
Did you ever read one of those saint biographies that begin with a description of their childhood? I always disliked that part of the book. There didn't seem to be any reality to them. The children were always supremely obedient, kind, and generous, thoughtful to others, and preoccupied with holiness. There was an other-worldliness to the stories, and they were a challenge for me to accept their authenticity. Then came Joseph.
Joseph is obedient. He is kind, generous and thoughtful. He is preoccupied with holiness. The kid informed me of the exact number of days to his first Holy Communion for months. He reads the scriptures and prays. Heck, he even chose a suit that made him look like a missionary. He is a gentle, sweet little boy. He is a favorite among his siblings. In a word, he is good. Scary good. All those saint biographies are starting to look a little more realistic...
Don't get me wrong - Joe likes to play ball, watch Spongebob Squarepants, and can be as silly as any third-grader can be. Yesterday he built a "time machine" out of empty pop bottles, a paper plate, and tape. His feelings are a little tender, especially when one of his brothers is unkind. But when I look at the boy objectively, I can't remember a time when I have had to discipline him. Ever. Not kidding.
I don't know what the future will bring for Joseph, but I know that if he perseveres in the faith he now loves, God will have great plans for him. I feel humbled and blessed to have been given such a son to love and care for. One night, not long ago, I asked him to pray for me. I think I will ask him to do that again soon. I have a feeling God's ear listens to this little son of mine quite intently.