Donning the mantle of godparent
cannot be blamed on an accident
it is both a gift and a choice
in which the child has no voice.
If it is a decision lightly taken
the deciders should awaken
to the burden it imposes
and the thorns of the roses.
An honor to the invited it might seem
but think about what it means
to the parents of that baby
and how vital to them it may be.
For if this is to be your child
it will not be for just a while
but for a lifetime of growth and pains
a multitude of joys and strains.
In a manner quite distinct
you are asked to be linked
to this person in the ups and downs
to hear both tender and awful sounds.
And think of where you may wander
in your journey out yonder
how your beliefs might alter
and your path might falter.
Wherever you go whatever you do
know this person is joined to you
through your good and bad breaks
with all your missteps and mistakes.
And above all remember you are kin.
You don’t lose. You don’t win.
You are never never exiled
from Love, for you are both God’s child.
This poem is occasioned partly by a recent deep sharing and conversation with the parents of our goddaughter who is now married with three children. They shared with us how our circuitous faith journey has affected them. It was not until I remembered my own hurts with the church to which we all belonged that I understood the depth of their hurt.
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