“One-size-fits-all clothes, one-size-fits-all platitudes never fit,” says Rev. Jason Michele.
I was in the emergency room, standing behind the paper curtain, holding a mother who wasn’t much older than me as she held her dead little boy, who wasn’t much older than my boys.
What do we do in these moments?
She wasn’t crying so much as gasping like you do when you’ve sunk all the way to the bottom of the deep end of the pool and have just come up for air. She was smoothing her boy’s cowlick with her hand. Every so often she would shush him, perhaps believing that if she could just calm him down then she might convince him to come back.
It was Opening Day. That afternoon my boys and I had played hooky to go to see the Nationals beat the Marlins. I still wore my Curly W Nats hat and had popcorn crumbs in my sweater and mustard stains on my pants. I didn’t look like a pastor or a priest.
The mother got up and went into the hallway to try and get hold of her husband. She left me with her boy — and when the chaplain stepped in to the room and saw the hat on my head and the mustard stains on my clothes and the tears in my eyes, she didn’t think I was a pastor or a priest. She just thought I was part of the boy’s family.
She put her hand on my shoulder and, after a few moments, she said to me: “It’s going to be all right.”
“What the hell did you say?” I asked, stunned.
Pastor Jason Micheli has more to say. Read it here.