Let me set the scene. It’s the Christmas Eve service at Heritage UU Church. A very special evening, celebrating the season and the holiday, in a way that makes sense, even to this old Jewish boy. I’m in the choir, singing baritone and songs of the season. Songs that we have been preparing for several months now.
At the end of the service, each member of the congregation comes forward to take a lighted candle. Since I’m in choir, I’ve arrived early, well before the remainder of my family is seated in this crowded sanctuary. The choir members have received their candles first, and stand watching the procession of those in church receiving theirs. My son, Josh, (yeah, that one), comes forward to take his candle, still dressed, unlike I requested previously, in his gray t-shirt and hoodie.
As he takes his candle, I turn to Bob, with whom I’ve sung for all these years, whispering: “I asked him to wear something a little nicer than that old gray t-shirt. But I’m powerless to do anything here.”
In a moment, Bob turned to me and quietly said, “you may not have realized this, but you’ve been powerless over him since several days after you first brought him home from the hospital.”
It took a few moments, but the point finally sank in.