I had a post in mind for tonight, but as I was drafting it I realized that I need to let the thought gestate a bit more before publication. Instead, here’s a fuzzy picture and a little story.
In 2002 I attended EYE, the Episcopal Youth Event. It was held in Laramie, Wyoming, and teenagers from all over the church came to live and worship and have fun together for a few days. During that EYE, we were visited by the then Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold. I’d never met or even seen a Presiding Bishop before, and I felt just a bit fancy knowing he came all the way to the tiny town of Laramie just to be with us.
During his visit, he blessed a pile of colorful crosses and gave one to every single youth in attendance. The cross was beautiful, a combination of red and green and blue. I really treasured mine, always remembering that it was the cross the Presiding Bishop blessed. This morning as I was getting dressed, I looked at the necklaces I brought with me and picked up the Presiding Bishop cross. It matched my shirt.
Today as we were remembering the work of outgoing Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori, we were surprised by a special guest speaker: Frank Griswold. I hadn’t actually seen him since that day in Wyoming.
After all the speeches were done and the House was in recess, I ran up to snag him before he disappeared behind the curtain. I was holding my phone in my hand and a man nearby asked if I wanted a picture with Bishop Griswold. We took the photo, but I quickly let the bishop know that’s not why I wanted to see him. I told him my story and held out the cross on my neck. He smiled that smile of a person who wasn’t expecting something sweet to happen to him today, and an aid quickly jumped in to get him away from the crowd.
I looked at the photo that the stranger took. No good. But it didn’t matter. I could never treasure a photo as much as a cross.