the guy with a hat and staff

The bishop came to town, to confirm the little folk, including Girl1. He was chatty and friendly, but he packed a punch.

Girl2 was baffled by the hat business. He arrived with the pointy one on, but when she next looked up from her singing sheet, he’d a small round pink one on. How did she miss that? Could he really have been wearing two hats at once?

The bishop wondered of the children what they might want to do when they grow up: I kept waiting for Girl1’s “I’m going to be President’ to pop up amongst the footballers, vets, game designers and singers. He reminded them that who you are is not the job you do, and so they announced that they’d like to be healthy, caring, kind and nice. A well trained bunch.

He talked about the hundred wonderful children there for confirmation; their hopes and dreams and joys. And he presented us- families, friends, the parish community- with an explicit challenge.  We know this, but it doesn’t get said quite so bluntly too often.

It’s up to us all to support those children, to not let them fall prey to those who want to laugh at them, ruin them or abuse them. It’s up to us to help them battle with external or internal demons. The challenge is to let all one hundred celebrate their 21st birthdays without being in jail, or the psychiatric hospital, or worse, the cemetry.

There are testing times ahead.

In the meantime, I totally failed to take a picture of the altar server wearing the bishop’s hat, or of his rather stylish bespoke staff. Instead, I got him mortifying Girl1 by singing. I missed the jazz hands. An unusual evening.


13 thoughts on “the guy with a hat and staff

  1. y’all keep trying
    … those of us who have seen a loved son in a psychiatric hospital don’t feel guilty, just grateful that one reason he was not in the jail was down to the decency and sense of the policeman who took him off the street and the friends who stood by him on and off the street at the time …
    what to learn? all in your post, kindness and caring trump other kinds of supposed success every time…
    he has not been back there … and is himself truly successful at the kindness and caring…
    Strange times indeed, and coincidences of meeting/feelings, next time in North Berwick say Hi to each other

    1. We all just need to keep working at it- I’m glad you and yours had the support around you

      I’m looking forward to North Berwick even more now 🙂

  2. And I wanted to see the pink hat! Next time. What a solemn challenge to parents, grandparents, family and friends…to see that these little ones make it safely to adulthood without the catastrophes we hear about every day. This is what I pray for! I was so young when my children were small that I think I took entirely too much for granted that “we’d all be fine” if we just took care. Thankfully I had praying grandparents. Now that’s my job. I know the dangers, sense the traps and see how without a prayer-filled, conscious net the snares can trip us up. They are all our children. I take the charge very seriously. What a beautiful occasion. Thank you for sharing it. Debra

  3. Enjoyed this very much – congrats all round! What a job being a parent :O good thing you know what you’re doing!

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