“For You”

It’s interesting how someone’s phrase can pop back into your mind years after it was first spoken.

Sometimes, the voice of David Roth, one of my most beloved influences, bubbles up within me. (By the way, that’s David Nelson Roth, not David Lee Roth). And lately, this is the phrase that comes to mind:

“For you. . .”

“For you. . .”

“For you. . .”

These words were spoken in a litany he would say every time he baptized person in the congregation where I grew up. Most often, he said these words to babies. Each “For you” was followed by a phrase of love. Then he would add, “And right now, you’re too young to understand any of these things, but. . .” He invited the people present to be companions in telling the stories of faith and sharing this kind of love.

These days, I keep hearing the rhythm of this phrase again.

“For you. . .”

“For you. . .”

“For you. . .”

With gratitude, I think about the people who have conveyed this kind of love to me.

And these days, I ponder the mysterious realization that right now, our work and our ways of being in the world are making space for people we don’t even yet know.

“For you. . .”

“For you. . .”

“For you. . .”

Renee Roederer

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