Today I met three Josephs, and each of them, as Josephs will do, pointed me to God.
I met the first Joseph at his funeral. Well, I guess you could say we didn’t meet exactly, but I sang for the Mass, and got to know him a bit from the words and presence of his family. Everyone said he was always smiling, and his daughter said he was a master of tall tales. Whenever he described the day of her birth, he made it sound like the first time Mufasa presents Simba to the pride in the Lion King. You know the scene. The music is triumphant and the colors are brilliant and everyone is rejoicing that this baby has finally arrived. Anyway, the way she told it made me tear up, because although she believed her birth to be slightly more ‘normal’ than the story her Dad told, I know that’s exactly how God saw it. And it’s how He saw yours and mine, too.
I am making the acquaintance of the second Joseph on retreat on the water. The house is named after him, and from what I can gather, he’s pretty quiet. He’s giving me lots to look at and think about and space to do it in. I find that’s how God works, too, stepping back to let me figure things out.
The third Joseph I’ve known for over twenty years and I’ve been married to him for most of those. Though not a Joseph by name, my husband is a Joseph in every sense of the word. Supportive and encouraging, he makes things happen for me every day in a quiet way that make my life possible. Just like Mary’s Joseph, he doesn’t say much, but his actions speak loudly. He’s steady when I swirl. He rides bikes and fixes technology while I deep dive into writing or music or my own restless soul. Recently, I said I might like to try singing in an outdoor concert series in our hometown and before I knew it, he was educating himself on sound design, buying lots of new equipment, and learning the guitar accompaniment to every song I threw at him. When we did perform, he didn’t get much of the credit, and he was totally fine with that. That night I told the crowd, “everyone should have a Tim.” But call him by any name, he’s clearly a Joseph, and I am so lucky.
Josephs make a big deal out of their families, they make room and space for them to grow, and they quietly support the chaos. They don’t get a ton of credit, and their stories are rarely told, but we would be lost without them. And it’s true…everyone should have one. I’m glad I have mine.
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