Parenthood brings endless moments of letting go. I've learned that most of time, the moments simply happen. Rolling over, sitting up, first tooth, first steps. We recognize them and celebrate them for the miraculous achievements they are.
But so many other moments are lost in the everyday stuff of childhood. Not crying when mom or dad leaves for work, crossing a street independently, a meaningful conversation with a friend, keeping a secret for all the right reasons.
Today we celebrated one of the moments that is easier to recognize: confirmation. Our youngest - our baby - affirmed his baptism. That means he publicly claimed responsibility for his faith. It also means that we – his parents – need to remember to stay out of his way where matters of faith are concerned. I don't think that means we won't continue to share our faith - our beliefs - with him. It simply means that we have been reminded that his faith is his to shape and share – just as mine is mine and Mark's is Mark's. Each relationship is a unique manifestation of God's love in our lives.
Faith is such an intimate thing. What it means to an individual, only God and that individual know. And that is as it should be.
I taught confirmation classes for more than 10 years. One of the refrains I regularly shared with the young men and women in those lessons was this: You cannot give someone faith. Faith is simply there to be recognized and claimed.
As parents, confirmation helps us remember that we have just as much to learn about faith from our children as they do from us. But I think that has always been true. It is just that confirmation provides us with a formal reminder.
Today marked a moment when Skye got to say, "Make no mistake. This one is mine." And God responded, "Back at ya, Kid."
In a world where few are born to riches and few get to live the dreams that they chose, that is a wonderful affirmation. An affirmation of faith in a God who knows you and has called you by name: You, Skye, are my child. You are mine; I am yours, no matter what life brings your way.
Amen. May it indeed be so.