A week ago Sunday was Pentecost Sunday at Church. You know, when the mighty wind swept through the door of the upper room and the disciples were given little flames on top of their heads and they were able to speak in foreign languages without the aid of Rosetta Stone courses.
It is also traditionally Confirmation Sunday, when all the eighth graders re-affirm their commitment to the church. In our Methodist church we do confirmation through a one-on-one mentoring process. Each kid is assigned an adult mentor who guides them through the lessons and (hopefully) becomes one more trusted grownup in their lives.
This year was my third year as a mentor. My girl was great - enthusiastic, thoughtful and always came to our sessions with stories and questions. The day dawned bright and warm and the five to be confirmed looked so fine in their white robes and red corsages. Two of the confirmands were first cousins, from an exceptionally close and exceptionally LARGE family. There were photos being snapped, hugs and greetings being doled out. My confirmand was an only child of a single mother. No family, no relatives at all. When each child came up to kneel before the pastor for their special blessing, their entire families are invited up to place a hand on their head in support. When the cousins went up they were surrounded by a crowd of milling, proud relatives.
I was worried for my girl. Would it just be me and her mom? It was her turn. Her name was called and she took her place on the kneeler. I stood on one side, her mom on the other. But then I looked up to see all her friends coming forward to be her 'family'. Without a word, they took their positions and placed their hands on her head.
Family is what you make it. In this instance, family made it good.