At church we are seeking to mark rites of passage.
The notion has been put forward that churches began to lose their resonance and power in people’s lives when they stepped back from being the place where rites of passage are celebrated: birth, death, marriages, coming to man or womanhood, leaving home, divorce, etc. When rites of passage are celebrated in community, the richness of generational wisdom is joined with the power of the Holy and life is named as God adventure and gift. When significant life passages are not named and held in church community, richness is leached.
So with that in mind, I share with you a rite of passage just shared with my son: buying his first suit.
There have been purchases made in the past, but this time, it was for real. We’re talking a real go-out-in-the-world suit.
My son arrived at my house shining with the results of riding his bike. He flipped on a t-shirt to complement the when-have-they-last-seen-a-washing-machine-shorts and we were off.
Our goal was a suggested outlet that specializes in men’s suits. We went in. The nice man began his measuring and spieling and pulled out some options.
And then Jameson put on the suit coat.
Before my eyes, he was transformed into a svelte man.
Holy holy holy.
The shy sort of greeting he gave his reflection in the mirror was powerful. It was a sort of “I’ve known you were there and it’s fun to meet you fully” sense of leaning into the future.
And for his mother? Besides being swept by the beauty of my son, the lump in my throat as I remembered past outfittings for Ninja Turtle garb and soccer threads was real.
As stewards of entrusted souls, we are witnesses of transformation. We are handed body and soul people and from day one we are witnesses to the small and large power of possibility and growth.
Day by day, passage by passage, we are invited to wonder.
So it was for me yesterday.
Wonder shared is a powerful good.
Thanks for listening.
Oh! Bitsy! You express so incredibly well what you experience. It takes us with you and we experience it, too. Your Dad must smile from ear to ear and from sea to shining sea when he reads what you say. Thanks for keeping it all going from his generation through yours and further.
Thanks, dear Auntie. The echoes keep rolling… I hope he smiles. I miss him yet.