Monday was another routine day of breaking news about the coronavirus and our attempts to slow its deadly approach. Both Oregon and Washington ordered stay-at-home policies and the stock market dropped another 3%. My day was full of phone calls, emails and strategizing how best to support our congregations and our church leaders in the midst of a national crisis. It was nothing less than dizzying—and unfortunately increasingly routine.

toilet trainingBut that was not the breaking news that got my attention yesterday. In the middle of the day, partly as a distraction, I had a video chat with my family. In the course of that conversation I discovered that our family had a major rite of passage. My son said something about his daughter wearing “undies” and then he stressed the word, “UNDIES.” Then he turned the phone over to my charming granddaughter and said, “You want to tell Geepa what you did today?”

And at the moment plunging stock markets and deadly viruses didn’t mean a thing. My granddaughter cheerily chirped out, “Geepa, I go pee, I wipe my bootie and I pull up my undies!” And then she started doing a happy dance around the living room as if she had just won the Oscar. Today, another Heron has become potty trained!

It was another day of tough breaking news. But my breaking news was about life, about beauty, about joy, about family, about rites of passage…

…and about undies!

Life is good.

By Rev. Brian Heron, Presbyter for Vision and Mission, Presbytery of the Cascades

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