God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

I'm Going to Miss..........

"I am going to miss church." What a wonderful,warming confirmation of Casey's values. There are times when I think "yes, we are doing an OK job of the task God has given us in raising this precious little boy."

Casey--who faces the unknown with a bravery that belies his fears and worries and trepidation at leaving all that he knows--opened one of these fears as he said goodbyes to his friends this morning. He was busy moving around the courtyard, making sure he saw everyone he cares about and who care about him--many of whom were adults. Over and over I heard him say how much he was going to miss church--which to him means learning about God and Jesus--whom he loves.

His Sunday school teachers gave him quite a send off--providing him with the sense that he matters and that people care and will miss him. They knew he likes the character Bible Man--sort of a super hero who uses his powers to work for God and His truth. Casey has many of the DVD's and his bible is Bible Man themed. All this appeals to the same part of him that likes Power Rangers and other action hero figures--little boy adventures and excitement.

So, these teachers had a Bible Man going away party in Sunday School. All the kids autographed a very nice going away poster, the teachers signed a card saying how much they love him and will miss him--class won't be the same without him. They served his favorite sweets--Fruit Roll Ups--which he really isn't supposed to eat due to the orthodontia appliance which fills his mouth. And the very best part was a Bible Man Cape and Mask which he gleefully wore while he ran around bestowing his goodbyes--the cape flying out behind him.

Casey with our senior pastor, Carlton Harris
--who immediately recognized Bible Man.
A night does not go by that Casey does not pray that God will
be with and take care of "Pastor Carlton."

One of our concerns in this short term move to Italy is that we won't be able to find a church to attend. We can do our own studies and listen to the pastor's sermons via podcasts but we will miss the type of fellowship that church friends offer. But--it may well be that people will cross our paths that share our faith. God makes those kinds of serendipity things happen.

Anyway, tonight when I was putting Casey to bed and we had our little night time chat, he enumerated things he will miss--friends, Scratch (his unattended to dog), Uncle Jeff (that is going to be a big miss) and his pillow. Now he wants to bring that along with everything else. We really need to leave before the proverbial kitchen sink does find its way into a duffel.

So--a week from tonight we will be somewhere over the Atlantic, maybe sleeping, watches set to Italia time and wondering what lies ahead. I wonder?


Judith in Umbria said...

There are English speaking Protestant churches here. The one nearest me is not for me, but an hour away is another that is my denomination. Where you will be there are thicker concentrations of expats and it should e easier yet to find a church.

Typesetter said...

Also, probably one thing that Casey will miss will also be his friends from church. These are impossible to replace, but he may be able to to go to the local oratorio. This is probably th4e closesst thing to the sunday school he goes to, just in catholic terms, caters to children living in the vicinity and the educators there oreganize games and other pastimes. Whether or not Casey will be able to fit in dipends on how brkight the local priest and the educators working at the oratorio are: if they are the rong side they may try to convert him to cathlicism, if they are the right kind they will appreciate Casey for his own (and yours too) contribution of a different view of christianity. In other words, some oratori are more open to different religions, welcoming children of different faiths as well and in respoect of their own religions, some others are... 8-(