My son, eight years old, nicknamed Mr. Carefree truly embodies his nickname and all that it implies. He’s non-committal, uninterested and usually prefers to even position his body in such a way, whether sitting or standing that will allow for some element of leaning. He has only a few passions really, that he has decided on: Legos being one of them and his easy going nature guides him through this life as a passer-byer, instead of an active participant at times.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great kid…really great. He always offers to help, has lots of energy for outside play and is quite skilled at a number of things, academic and otherwise. I guess, I’d just say that he lacks passion. For a passionate mother, it’s tough to see him not have that. He’s level-headed, calm and peaceful in most situations. It takes quite a bit to get him upset, and almost always he’s upset for a just cause. He doesn’t like to make tough decisions and encouraging him to be motivated has been at the forefront of my mind for a while now.
I have often prayed for this boy of mine, that perhaps in some way, God might find something for him that would excite him, challenge him, help him to succeed with an element of humility to balance it out.
Finally, I feel an answer to a prayer.
When Carefree was invited to become a "Knight for Jesus", let me tell you, words can’t even express the excitement this boy must have felt. A flyer came home with him from school, and I questioned him on it, careful not to pressure him. He was quick to reassure me that not only he wanted to do it, but that God wanted him to be a Knight for Jesus. No longer was it to be an Altar Server, he was to be a Knight.
After informing the school of his interest in being a Knight, loads of paperwork flooded his backpack in preparation for tests he must pass in order to continue in his training. Everything from proper posture, to types of bowing, from which foot must go first when genuflecting to knowing vocabulary of each specific item used during the Mass, adoration and otherwise. The lists were amazing. I thought, for sure to memorize such a long laundry list of things, my 3rd grader just might not be up to the challenge.
Carefree, unknowingly, decided to prove me wrong. He has worked for weeks with my husband in order to prepare, studying pages upon pages of notes on top of his regular schoolwork and any other commitments. It started rough, at first Carefree couldn’t remember any of the terminology, and the temptation to give up was enormous for him. At one point, I remember, I told him, "You have to know a lot, are you sure you still want to do this?"
He was firm, as if there was no other choice in the matter. "Yes. Of course I do. It’s being a Knight for Jesus!" Talk about a calling from God.
So he continued on. It began to consume even his nighttime sleeping as it invaded his dreams:
He told me of a dream he had, in which the Blessed Mother appeared to him, and my son got the chance to ask her questions. He was so descriptive of her. She wore a heart necklace. She was dressed in all white. She stood where a golden sword was sticking out of ground. I told him that morning, that perhaps she was rewarding his time and energy he had spent on his studying, or that she wanted to encourage him to keep it up, to be a Knight for Jesus.
I'll never forget how his eyes lit up hearing that perhaps the Blessed Mother had given him and only him a special gift. After talking about his dream, I told him, "It's pretty special, you know."
He gave a huge smile, and then ran up to hug me, and he didn't let go right away. We stood in the kitchen on a typical school morning just hugging each other. I've thought about that morning often since he told me. Could it be that Our Lady had given her blessing to my son to serve her Son? I don't know. Honestly, I can't say, who could say for sure?
But I will tell you one thing. Whether or not that dream came from her or God or Carefree's guardian angel, or from his very own subconscious....it did for sure do one thing for Mr. Carefree and myself.
It reminded us both, that indeed Our Lady has given him, me and all of us a special gift: the gift of her Son, her 'yes', the gift of her motherhood, the gift of her fidelity, perseverance and sacrifice. No matter what, those are gifts. Unworthy as we are, we are shown our true value through the eyes of God. He wanted to save us. And so He died for us. He died for Carefree.
Perhaps this opportunity to serve Him, has given Carefree that mission that I have been praying for. Suddenly, Carefree has conviction. He feels a mission. He sees himself doing and living for something greater than himself.
And, should he pass or fail this test to be a Knight, it's no matter. He'll try again. He'll study harder. He'll keep trying. With the strength of Our Lady on his side, the prayers of this earthly mother, and the self-motivation he has now, there's no limitations for him…..with the exception of his nickname….and so….
From hence-forth, he shall be known in all the land as a faithful yet fierce, noble and steadfast KNIGHT. A KNIGHT OF THE ALTAR.
Copyright 2010 Sahmatwork
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