We were always late to church for Sunday mass. This was the result of an overstressed, overworked couple that sorely needed sleep to recuperate. Lee and I were in our early twenties with the sweetest three-year-old boy you would ever want to call your son. Needing the encouragement that the service would provide, we got to mass as often as possible, even though we snuck in as the church bells were ringing. As you could imagine, we always sat at the back of the church where there were other families with young children, ready to make a break for the door if one of the toddlers decided to have a tantrum and disrupt the service. My son, Juliano, was usually very patient during the long masses and sat quietly until it was time to go up to receive the blessing, even though his only view was the back of the pew.
One particular Sunday in April, all the stars were aligned. The morning alarm had been received favorably by all and there was a general flow to the morning that put us in church at least fifteen minutes earlier than ever before. I remember saying, this is the best feeling ever to actually get to sit in the first row. We didn’t have to fuss over barely making it in before the priest came in and actually having a few moments of silent prayer before the service. It really didn’t dawn on me until a few minutes into the service that Juliano had his mouth gaping open as he stared at the priest at the altar … As I think back on this scene, I probably should never have asked what was up. Maybe I could have ridden it out until the choir was singing or we were praying aloud, and the question might not have been heard by everyone in the church.
Juliano asked, “Mom, is that God?”
The laughter around us was very warm and it was the best feeling ever.