My neice was confirmed yesterday, on Reformation Sunday, at her own church Down South in the Desert. This is what I would like to say to her:
I know that you have been studying for the past three years in order to get to this day. You regard it as a Big Accomplishment. You might even regard it as a "Coming of Age." I know I did. I thought, "Today I am an adult in the eyes of the church." I was proud of myself as I imagine you are.
Today, though I want to share a story about something that happened a long time ago, to you and to someone you don't know well, your great-grandma Emma.
Your great-grandma Emma was my grandma, and a very special person. We used to visit her down in Jackson when we were growing up. She liked to laugh and tell jokes, and she prayed for all of us too. She grew strawberries in a big garden, and tomatoes in a smaller one when she and grandpa moved into town. She was also a good hugger. You know, all of the important things.
She first met you when you were a little baby, not long after you were born. Then, when you were about 1 year old, your mom came home and you went to visit your great-grandma when she was in the hospital. The truth was, she was going to die soon.
Your great grandma was in a hospital room. Some people get scared when they have to go to hospitals. But your mom told me later that when you went in to visit great-grandma Emma, she was happy to see you and smiled, and that you were not scared at all, even though she was weak and had some tubes and things in her. You put your arms out and went right to her.
You were only one year old, but you did a good thing that day. You made your great-grandma happy, and peaceful. I'm sure she was so glad to see you, and so glad that you put your arms out and were not afraid to go to her.
It wasn't long after that great-grandma went home to be with God. God welcomed her with open arms and a big smile, just like you did.
As you keep growing in Christ, you will discover that God has plans for you. You won't discover this all at once, but bit by bit as you live and learn and have adventures. It will be a little bit like when you went across Gooseberry Falls this summer. You will discover more things that you can do, and things that only YOU can do, because of who you are.
Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid to cross the rocks sometimes. And don't be afraid to open your arms like you did for your great-grandma. You helped her know that God was with her. Sometimes we all do that for one another. We show each other God.
You were very good at that when you were one year old.
God bless you.