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True to His name: God is with us

Sunday, July 13, 2003, was a beautiful day. Like many mid-summer Sundays in Michigan, it was warm and bright, if not a little humid. The weather was nice – but that day was made beautiful for an entirely different reason. Late that morning – a bit before noon – names human and divine were spoken, water was poured, chrism was gently applied, and a white garment and lit candle were given. On that Sunday, with her family and faith community surrounding her, Lily Marie Cadwallader was baptized. Before baptizing Lily, I turned to the gathered assembly, and with tears in my eyes, reminded them that we were witnessing a miracle. Very few of us knew the deep meaning of those words.

In truth, the miraculous was present on so many levels that sunny Sunday. Lily’s father and mother, Carl and Kathy, had been through so much in 13 years of marriage. Beyond the stress and strain of busy professional lives and the everyday demands of married life, the Cadwalladers had managed, with God’s help, to clear so many hurdles. The preceding years had brought with them a mix of troubles – marital, physical and emotional. They also included a number of pregnancies and ensuing miscarriages. Carl and Kathy had ridden a roller coaster – but God was along for the ride. He had led them through times of great joy and deep sorrow – and continues to lead them as Lily now journeys through life – their beloved daughter who is also a beloved child of God.

For the Cadwalladers – as for all of us – God has been and continues to be consolation and strength, healer and life-giver, source of abiding love and unending forgiveness. Carl and Kathy never turned their backs on God – and God never turned His back on them. There was only deep, profound trust that God would see them safely through.

True to His name, God is with us, each and every day. God was with Connie Leo (now Connie Samuels) and her family as they lived through the terror of war-torn Italy and the challenges of forming a new life in a new homeland. God has been with Jason Johnson, leading him on a journey of deepening faith with the support and encouragement of the faith community at Holy Trinity Student Parish.

God is true to His name. We, in turn, are called to honor God’s name with all that we are, all that we do, and with all that we shall yet become. And so our journey in FAITH continues.