Sitting in Mass and my son is fidgeting again, playing some small game in his mind that involves moving his hands in a repetitive pattern. Restless, not unruly, just patently fidgety, hands in constant motion.
During the Consecration and Elevation of the Eucharist, I remind myself that this child, unexpected and unplanned, is a gift from God. At his baptism nine-years ago, we dedicated him to God and have prayed for him to know and follow God’s purpose in his life ever since. At times there is a sense of solidarity with Hannah and her gift of Samuel.
And God definitely has a purpose for this child. More than a few times when he was young, he’s surprised us with a comment or observation demonstrating an attunement to our faith. When asked, “Where did you hear this?” or “How did you think of this?” he would innocently reply, “God told me.”
As Father makes his way through the pews distributing Communion, I receive and then hear a small gasp beside me. My son looks up at me quizzically because his hand does not contain the small round host commonly used; rather he holds a pointed triangle broken from the large Communion Host elevated at the altar. After my nod of acceptance, he consumes it. Kneeling he rubs the palm of his hand before whispering close to me, “It stabbed me when Father placed it in my hand.”
Stunned at all the little coincidences: my prayer dedicating him to the church, Hannah and Samuel, the piercing in the hand of the consecrated Eucharist, and wondering at what this might mean, my son leans over as if to answer my thoughts and whispers quite seriously.
“This is God telling me to be still and more disciplined in church.”