Grant and I sat on the deck. He pushed a rubber ball with the tip of his basketball shoe.
“The kids from Uganda are traveling home today.”
“I know, “I said.
“I hope their travel will be safe. And that it will be a good thing. Being back home.”
The boys and girls from Mwaganza Children’s Choir had been on a six month tour in the United States. They were performing at our church. Three of the boys stayed with us over Memorial Day weekend. We were surprised and delighted when Grant bonded with a young man named Vatican. Vatican was spirited. Athletic. Strong. Very, very much like our second-born Grant.
Grant and Vatican played soccer. Shot hoops. Talked guy-talk. Did the cool-guy-knuckle-thing.
They behaved like they’d been friends for a half-million years.
The end of our visit was tough. We stood on the drive. Lonny and me. The boys’ chaperone. Our five sons. Three boys from the choir. There were embraces, cuffs on the back. A few tears. Grant and Vatican knocked each other around. Hugged. Said goodbye. Then Vatican climbed into the Suburban. Grant stood alongside.
When Lonny began to back down the drive, Vatican’s window opened. His long, strong arm pushed out, pinky finger extended. Grant lifted his own arm, strong, muscled, and then he extended his own finger. The two hands connected.
“Promise,” Vatican said.
“Promise,” Grant replied. He took quick steps, to keep up with the moving vehicle.
When Lonny picked up speed, the hands broke apart. Grant’s arm fell to his side. He stood on the sidewalk and watched the Suburban drive away.
I didn’t have any idea what that promise was about. I still don’t. It was private. Between two guys. But I trust that God will protect these young men, whose hearts collided deeply.
And I pray, that in different corners of God’s big, big world, in His strength and in His grace, the promise will be kept.