Sunday, October 23, 2005

Child on Loan from God

So I'm standing in line for communion today behind my wife, and our daughter, cradled in the arms of her godmother Mary, is going up before us.

I suddenly had a "head smack" moment of why we do this godparent thing. Yes, yes, the historical roots of such a practice date back to the days of the Roman persecutions when parents stood a good chance--due to the likelyhood of martyrdom--of never seeing their kids grow up in the Faith, so godparents were assigned to do just that. There is that. But watching the two of them approach the Chalice, approach our God's flesh and blood while we just stood there impressed two things upon me:

1) This child is not really mine. Biologically, yeah. Don't get any ideas. But she's "on loan," as it were. And that meeting at the Chalice is why she's really here. That's Who she really belongs to, so the fact that another should take her there, who's specifically there to be an example in the faith, seems fitting to me.

2) The child went on up ahead of me, which left me free to...pray. For myself. She was fine. She was partaking of the all-holy Body and precious Blood of the Lord, unhindered by any personal sin. I was not, and this needed my attention. For if my own life is unfocused, how can I help her focus hers?

3 comments:

Mimi said...

I love the end of the churching just for this very reason - a visable reminder of the fact that our children are on loan.

Philippa said...

You are such a great Dad to be thinking this kind of stuff. It took me YEARS before I could gain this kind of understanding. Glory to God!

JenCK said...

Wow! I realized that same thing recently as well. As I was rocking my 5 month old to sleep, I was starting at the icons I hung in his room and realized "This isn't my child. This is God's child, and He's entrusted me with His care."

Parenthood felt incredibly important already, but having that revelation made raising my child and caring for him much more important.